How Safe Is the Nonstick Teflon Cookware?
As soon as they appeared on the market, nonstick cookware became an instant hit. They were the perfect solution for each chef because of their easy cleaning and lack of oil usage. But soon, the most famous coating – Teflon, appeared on the safety health blacklist. Although numerous producers disagree, there is strong evidence for the dangers of using nonstick pans. So, here is what to use instead as healthier alternatives.
Dangers of Nonstick Cookware
Teflon is also known under its chemical term polytetrafluorethylene. In its origin, it’s a waste byproduct from the production of Freon, a brand name for nonflammable toxic liquids and gases used as aerosol propellants and refrigerants. Teflon is composed of perfluorooctanoic acid that is connected with tumors and animal developmental issues.
The risks start to appear when the pans become overheated. When the pan achieves 260 degrees C, the coat begins to decompose. At 350 degrees C the toxic fumes are released causing polymer-fume fever, a condition which destroys pet birds. At 360 degrees C, Teflon release 6 diverse toxic gases, 2 of them carcinogenic.
Flaked and chipped cookware are even bigger hazard. Although you can’t see the damages with your naked eye, these chemicals are here and are potentially released in your food. The majority of U.S. citizens were diagnosed with chemicals in their bloodstream, and some were even found in the newborns.
Health Problems connected to PFOA
On the basis of the findings made by School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London, there are immense number of health issues connected with the exposure of PFOA:
– Low birth weight
– Early puberty
– Reproductive disorders
– Autoimmune disorders
– Kidney and liver disease
– Thyroid disease
– High cholesterol
What to do to reduce the risks?
– Don’t preheat an empty pan.
– In case you use nonstick pans, never go beyond medium heat.
– If you see that the pan is chipped or somehow damaged, throw it away immediately. They should be replaced every second year.
– Use wooden spoons only for stirring the food.
– Avoid metal nonstick pans.
– Opt for chemical-free cookware, such as clay or glass cookware, copper or stainless steel pans
Alternatives to Teflon
The following alternatives to Teflon can be used freely without any doubt that they might cause any kind of health issue:
Glass – it works great for baking, like for instance Pyrex dishes. Nowadays, more and more people start to use glass pots since they have simple design, elegant style and color. And, the smooth glass surface is easy for cleaning.
Cast Iron – it’s perfect for oven or stove-top use. The cookware made of cast iron are free from PFOA, and it meets all the regulations and criteria for cadmium and lead levels.
Glass Ceramic Cookware – Corningware, a brand name for stove-top dishes and glass-ceramic baking. Or you can always use ceramic frying pans, because they are safer than Teflon.