PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8, is a surfactant used in the production of Teflon® or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the non-stick substance found in a billion kitchens. It was also used to make Gore-Tex, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, and microwave popcorn bags. Related chemicals are released if you overheat your Teflon cookware; they can kill birds in seconds, which is why we eliminated all the Teflon from our kitchen a decade ago.
The toaster in the hotel room gave off an interesting flash and a zap noise the other day, and now it only toasts on one side of each slot; the middle element is burned out. It wasn’t a very good toaster to start with, and having to take the bread out and turn it around wait to toast the other side was reminding me of the days before autoreverse cassette decks.