If you have to cook, you surely have to use cookware. For cooking ease and easy cleanup, many of us are using nonstick cookware, these days. We often hear people talk about health hazards associated with PTFE, PFOA, Cadmium, and Lead when it comes to choosing cookware. Now-a-days, most cookware brands use these potentially dangerous chemicals and metals to add nonstick feature to their cookware. Unfortunately, not too many people are aware of these potential dangers from their cookware.
They are happy just thinking that the cookware sets they are using are nonstick. But, they fail to understand that a nonstick cookware set just provides the cooking and cleaning comfort not a guaranty for healthy cooking. Apart from their adverse effects on human health, they can be threatening to pet health and even the whole environment, in some cases. So the sooner we grow conscious of these issues the better for our overall well-being and the eco-system. Here in this article, we will explain what these potential hazards are and how they can pose threats to your health.
Pfoa free Healthy Nonstick Cookware:
What is PTFE? PTFE is an abbreviated term which stands for Polytetrafluoroethylene. It’s a PFC (per fluorinated compound), an artificial polymer, generally used for nonstick coating, microwavable food packages, insecticides, textiles, and rugs and carpets etc. This polymer is also widely known as Teflon, a Dupont trademark. Chemicals used in PFC are responsible for developing tumors and causing toxicity deterrent to development of animals, recent studies reveal. When overheated Teflon starts generating toxic fumes. These fumes cause a flu-like symptom known as polymer fume fever or Teflon flu.
What is PFOA? PFOA stands for Perfluorooctanoic acid. PFOA stays in human body for an indefinite period of time. Exposure to this polymer can cause diabetes and renal problems in humans. Young children are also vulnerable to PFOA exposure. PFOA can negatively impact physical growth and development of animals. It can also interfere with their reproductive system and damage their liver functions. CDC (center for disease control and prevention, a US-based federal government body) officials detected a trace of PFOA in the blood of most Americans they tested. It surely vouches for the presence of this harmful PFC in the environment in an alarming amount.
Cadmium, a heavy metal like most other heavy metals, is highly toxic in nature. Humans normally get exposed to this metal by inhaling toxic gases. Exposure to cadmium is likely to cause flu-like symptoms, increased body temperature like fever, and muscle pain. Heavy and chronic exposure may result in bronchitis, pneumonitis, pulmonary disease, fragile bones, loss of bone mineral density, and even cancer. Cadmium also can cause brain damage to little children.
Lead poisoning is a much talked-about issue. It’s lead, another heavy metal like cadmium that causes this poisoning or harmful exposure. Little children under 10 are most vulnerable to lead exposure. Such exposure can cause tiredness, sleeplessness, attention deficit, irritation, stomach discomfort, and loss of appetite. Heavy exposure to lead can cause loss of hearing and vision. Poor fetal development, damaged nerves and muscle problems are also attributed to lead exposure.
- Read: How To Take Proper Care Of Your Nonstick Cookware?
- Read: Is Ceramic Cookware Safe For Healthy Cooking?
Is it possible to choose cookware completely free of these chemicals and metals?
Most cookware sets currently available on the market use Teflon coating to add nonstick feature to their cookware. Every household where cooking is done has nonstick cookware. Can we ask everyone to discard their nonstick cookware or can everyone afford to toss their cookware set? The answer is definitely ‘no’. Then how to deal with this issue?
It is to be noted here that PTFE or Teflon itself is not harmful. But if cookware with Teflon coating is overheated, it emits toxic fumes, which we have to ward off. A study done by Environmental Working Group in 2003, says, on a traditional cook top Teflon coated cookware can reach at a temperature where the coating can come off and start emitting a fine chemical particle and toxic fumes in two to five minutes. So even though most cookware manufacturers claim that Teflon is safe if you don’t overheat your cookware, it’s not easy for everyone to follow that.
Therefore, we ask you to use your old nonstick cookware with caution until and unless you buy a safer set. Don’t preheat your nonstick cookware in high temperature. The reason being, empty pots and pans get heated up faster. Don’t put your cookware in the oven at a temperature higher than 500 degrees. Make sure the exhaust fan over your stove is functional.
If at all possible, replace your cookware set with a safer one. You may wish to take a look at two of our hundred percent PFOA-free cookware sets, Emeril All Clad Nonstick 12-piece cookware set and Stoneline Stone Cookware 8-piece set, in our review section, if you are a nonstick cookware lover, regardless of some potential health hazards most of the cheap nonstick cookware may pose.