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Healthy Cooking

December 2, 2011

Non-stick cookware is the most popular cookware in America. So what’s wrong with it? Non-stick cookware contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical used in production that creates a soap-like slipperiness and non-stick finish.

Once heated, non-stick pans will quickly reach temperatures at which toxic fumes release into the air. And it doesn’t take much heat to do this — the coating begins to break down and release toxins at a temperature of only 446° F.

PFOA has become very controversial because of potential health dangers… and non-stick cookware is right in the middle of the controversy.

So why is PFOA so dangerous? In animal studies, PFOA posed health hazards like:

  1. Serious changes in organs including the brain, prostate, liver, thymus, and kidneys, showing toxicity.
  2. Death of several rat pups due to PFOA exposure.
  3. Changes in the pituitary in female rats, at all doses. The pituitary controls growth, reproduction, and many metabolic functions. Changes in the size of the pituitary indicate toxicity.

PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests, and has been implicated in an increase in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers. Now the various PFOA doses used in these animal experiments weren’t necessarily the same exposure levels you might get from non-stick cookware. But they clearly show the potential danger from PFOA. Chemical used in Non-Stick Cookware Continues to Suggest Toxicity: In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (CDC), PFOA was detected in close to 98% of the population. While PFOA can come from sources other than non-stick cookware, that’s startling information.

A study reported in 2007, and conducted by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, showed alarming evidence that newborn infants face exposure to PFOA while in the womb. The research analysis detected PFOA in 100% of the newborns examined.

While PFOA can come from sources other than this, other studies suggest the potential dangers of non-stick cookware.

Though not necessarily related to PFOA, non-stick cookware has already been implicated in increased instances of cancer in the pancreas, liver, testicles, and mammary glands, as well as miscarriages, thyroid problems, weakened immune systems, and low organ weights.

If you haven’t already done it, it’s time to give your non-stick cookware the boot for good.

Comment: How do I dispose of them in a responsible way? Should I just throw them in the trash?


Ingrid Cheng

Dream: Creating a Better World

From → Uncategorized

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