For the Record: The Dangers of Nonstick Cookware

Still on the look out for that perfect gift this holiday season? Think about giving the gift of non-toxic cookware. While we are all familiar with nonstick cookware and how it has revolutionized the way we prepare food, did you know there is a hidden health cost? We’re exploring the issue below. Fact or fiction: Using nonstick cookware is bad for your health.

Fact or fiction: Fact. Using conventional nonstick cookware causes the leaching of a chemical known to adversely affect the body.

For the Record:  Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a chemical used to create nonstick coatings for pots, pans and bakeware. It is often sold under the brand name Teflon. When nonstick cookware is heated, which occurs when cooking, PFOA is leached into the food, leading to our exposure. PFOA has been found to lead to an array of health conditions ranging from tumor development, thyroid disease, infertility to impaired fetal growth.

The Damage: In research studies, PFOA has been confirmed to cause the development of tumors in the testes, liver, pancreas and breast tissue in animals, and may be carcinogenic in humans as well. PFOA has also shown to cause immune and hormonal changes in the body, specifically leading to the atrophy of the spleen and thymus, and a decline in the production of thyroid hormones. Finally, exposure to this chemical has been linked to elevations in cholesterol and uric acid, leading to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, gout, kidney disease and kidney stones.

Take Charge: While DuPont claims to no longer use PFOA in their Teflon products, this is no guarantee your nonstick cookware is PFOA-free. So, to avoid the dangers of nonstick cookware, toss the old stuff and treat yourself to a safer option. There are many other options to choose from, even ones that still offer the convenience of the nonstick technology. But remember to always take good care of your cookware, because scratches and worn materials can often lead to the leaching of the toxic metals that lie beneath the coatings.

The Skinny: We can make the switch easy for you. Simply choose one of the following safe cookware options and eliminate your exposure to PFOAs for good: cast iron, stainless steel, enamel, glass, 100% ceramic (not-ceramic coated) and anodized aluminum. We’re also impressed with GreenPan, a new non-stick that is non-toxic, and a favorite of ours here at the Chalkboard.

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