The Dangers of Non-Stick Cookware

For years people and restaurants flocked to the non-stick technological cooking breakthrough.  However, studies done over the last 20 years have indicated that non-stick surfaces release deadly toxic gases  and other poisonous substances that cause significant concern to users.  There are inherent dangers of non-stick cookware .

Testing showed Teflon related chemicals in hamburger meat when the meat was fried on heat-aged and old pans but the chemicals were considered safe at the time.

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False Claims about Non-Stick Coatings:

Over the last 50 years the DuPont company that produces Teflon coatings has claimed that these products do not emit hazardous chemicals through normal use.  More recently DuPont has stated that “significant decomposition of the coating will occur only temperatures exceed above 660 degrees F (340 degrees C).  These temperatures are well above normal cooking range.”

In recent tests a non-stick frying pan preheated on a conventional, electric stovetop burner reached 736 degrees F in 3 minutes and 20 seconds with temperatures still rising when the tests were halted. The Teflon brand was shown to hit 721 degrees at 5 minutes.

DuPont studies have shown that Teflon releases toxic particulates at 446°F. At 680°F Teflon pans release at least six massively toxic gases.  At even higher temperatures that DuPont scientists have reached on stovetop drip pans (1000°F), the non-stick coating breaks down to PFIB which is a known chemical warfare agent and analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene.


Toxic Chemicals in Non-Stick Pans:

Although there are many toxic chemicals released by cooking on non-stick pans the EPA has recently focused its attention on the chemical perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). PFOA is only one of perfluorinated chemicals found in these surfaces.

Aside from being used in the manufacture of Teflon non-stick coatings, they are also used in countless items such as food packaging, upholstery and personal care products, along with:

· Clothing ( “No-iron,” and “wrinkle-free” apparel)
· Nail polish removers
· Eyeglasses
· Products designed to repel soil, grease and water, such as carpet and furniture treatments
· Pizza boxes, microwave popcorn, and other non-stick food wraps
· Protective sprays for leather, shoes, and clothing
· Paint
· Cleaning products

The FDA also found PFOA in microwaveable popcorn packaging where it migrates to the oil on the popcorn during the heating process. It is estimated that 80 plus %,  have PFOA in their blood.


Major Dangers Involved with Non-Stick Pans:

The EPA has also revealed that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans” while animal studies have linked the chemical to:

· Risks of liver, pancreatic, testicular and mammary gland tumors
· Altered thyroid hormone regulation
· Damage to your immune system
· Reproductive problems, infertility and birth defects

The EPA accused DuPont of lying and failing to relate important health information about PFOA as far back as 1981. In 2005, DuPont reached a settlement with federal officials that included over $313 million for concealing the harmful health effects of PFOA.

DuPont continues to say that Teflon products are completely safe even though the EPA has asked for their complete withdrawal from the marketplace by 2015.


Ditch the Non-Stick Now:

Better cooking alternatives include ceramic, stainless steel, cast Iron, Salad Master, & glass.  If there is any damage to the cookware do not use it.  Stainless steel is relatively inert, however, if it is chipped it can release certain metals such as nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all of which can trickle into foods.

I recommend to my clients to use a good ceramic dish for whatever you are able.  

Since its earliest beginnings Staub has been offering high-quality products which transmit the French "savoir vivre" to the world. The high-quality ceramic dishes are available in a wide variety of shapes and can be used in many different ways: As cookware, tableware or as an original gift in a typical French design. The symbol for a culinary tradition from the country renowned for its good food. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Critics say that without the PFOA and PTFE’s the non-stick surface dosn’t last more than a year.

This is why you may want to have some good staub and Swizz Diamond pans.  I like them as they have an excellent make that holds up strong.

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