Silicone seems to be used in more and more products over time. At home, I have a silicone oven mitt, silicone bakeware, (partly) silicone tongs, and a silicone bowl-scraper.
It seems like a very inert substance, and I haven't seen any deterioration of the above items in the time I've owned them. However, very little lasts forever, and I've been wondering what happens to silicone when it starts to break down, especially when it's in contact with food.
Does it start to release potentially-toxic chemicals like plastic does when it breaks down?
Also, are there any particularly nasty chemicals used or released in its manufacture?
In case it helps: I had one re-usable container lid that may have been lined with silicone, and it seemed to break down after about 4 years of regular use. It became weak (started to get small tears along the edge) and sticky to touch. I'm not sure it was silicone, but it may have been.