Are you looking for safe cupcake liners without indications of PFAS “forever chemicals?” After we posted our investigation on non-toxic cupcake & muffin pans, many people asked us to come up with recommendations of cupcake liners. So we sent off the top 4 cupcake liners sold on Amazon and had them tested for indications of PFAS “forever chemicals.” You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like best air fryers sans PFAS “forever chemicals,” best non-toxic toasters, safest cookware, & best non-toxic dishes, now join us for the lab results of popular cupcake liners.
Disclosure: This post was medically reviewed by Sondra Strand, RN, BSN, PHN. This post also contains affiliate links.
PFAS “Forever Chemicals” & Health Impacts
PFAS “forever chemicals” are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances used as stain-resistant, water-resistant, & oil-resistant chemicals in commerce. They have been used for decades inside consumer products, manufacturing, and building materials. There are over 12,000 different chemicals in the PFAS chemical class (including PFOA & PTFE), and because there are so many of them, they are incredibly hard to identify and test for.
PFAS “forever chemicals” are problematic to human health and the environment. They are considered persistent, ubiquitous, and toxic, and therefore, it’s important you avoid them as much as you can to keep them from building up in our bodies. Many compounds can last for years in our bodies, therefore, it’s imperative to reduce the amount of PFAS you are exposed to from contaminated food and water.
Here are a list of health effects PFAS chemicals are linked to presently according to our scientific advisor and Former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, Linda Birnbaum:
- reduction in immunity
- reduced vaccination response
- increased risk of allergies & asthma in young children
- affect the growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- increase cholesterol levels
- metabolic diseases like obesity & diabetes
- cardiovascular disease
- lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
- lowers male fertility
- increase the risk of kidney & testicular cancers
- Causes endocrine disruption
- Disrupts normal thyroid function
Mamavation Finds Traces of PFAS “Forever Chemicals” In Other Adjacent Industries
PFAS, otherwise known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (aka PFCs or perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOA and PFOS) are added to many products we purchase to make them “stain-resistant,” “grease-proof,” and “water-resistant.”
As we are writing this, Mamavation has finished 17 consumer studies looking for indications of PFAS inside everyday items and food we bring into our homes. In these studies, we have learned quite a bit about where PFAS chemicals hide in everyday products. Learn more about our other PFAS consumer studies here:
- Nut Butters
- Pasta & Tomato Sauce
- Cooking Oils
- Sports Bras
- Green Beauty Makeup
- Period Underwear
- Parchment Paper
- Plastic-Free Straws
- Bamboo Flooring
- Toilet Paper
- Sanitary Pads & Incontinence Pads
- Dental Floss
- Baby Strollers
- Children’s Probiotics
Mamavation’s Investigation on Cupcake Liners
Mamavation sent 4 cupcake liners purchased on Amazon off to an EPA-certified lab looking for indications of PFAS “forever chemicals.” The specific lab method used by Mamavation tested for total fluorine by using the Determination of Total Fluorine by Oxygen Flask Combustion and Ion-Selective Electrode. If detectable total fluorine was observed at a detection level of 10ppm, the lab did the Determination of free Fluoride Ion in the tablet by Ion-Selective Electrode and then subtracted that from the Total Fluorine to determine the amount of organic fluorine.
Organic fluorine testing is marker testing. There are over 12,000 different PFAS chemicals in commerce and it’s impossible to identify all of them. In fact, it’s only possible to identify about 100 or so in a really good commercial lab. Therefore, we do marker testing instead looking for the element they all have in common–organic fluorine. What else could organic fluorine possibly contain other than PFAS? Nothing you want to sip from. The other main possibilities are other fluoropolymers, pharmaceuticals, and common hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, such as 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane (commonly known as R-134a) and 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoropropene (commonly known as HFO-1234yf).
Not Our Favorite Cupcake Liners
Our lab found indications of PFAS “forever chemicals” inside the products listed here.
- If You Care Jumbo Baking Cups — 12 parts per million (ppm) organic fluorine [updated 5/9/23]
- Wilton Baking Cups — Assorted Colors/designs — 17 parts per million (ppm) organic fluorine
Best Cupcake Liners
Our lab did NOT find indications of PFAS “forever chemicals” inside the products listed here. The detection level of the test used at the lab was 10 parts per million (ppm).
- Eoonfirst Standard Baking Cups Natural — non-detect organic fluorine
- Gifbera Standard Baking Cups Natural — non-detect organic fluorine
Thank you so much for this study! I thought the If You Care cupcake liners were pfas free! I wonder what this means about their parchment paper!
I don’t see the brand “If You Care”. Were these tested?
It’s the first one in “not our favorite”
We just updated that for you.
They are there in the “not our favorites” section. Very disappointed because that’s what I have been using thinking they were safe.
I am so appreciative of your testing of products! Thank you for doing so, and letting us all know the results! Keep up the truly good work!
Any idea about silicone cup cake liners?
Timely!!!!! I need some for my extralarge 6 cupcake pan.