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How safe is Nonstick Cookware

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When heated, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces emits fumes that can kill birds and potentially sicken people.

Recent research says that it is unsafe to cook children food in nonstick cookware as their  blood cholostrole level becomes very high when they eat food cooked in nonstick cookware.(Source :Elements4Health)

Between 1999 and 2003 there were a lot of news reports about studies showing that the chemicals known as PFO’s, PFOA’s and PFC’s were being released from cookware and getting into people’s bodies. Many groups came out with warnings suggesting that non-stick cookware be replaced by regular stainless steel or cast iron pots and pans. people  have known about this warning for quite some time, but even then   cookware coated with the chemical commonly known as Teflon is still the vast majority of cookware in use today. The chemical coatings are inexpensive so non-stick cookware is less costly than stainless steel. There are  Non-stick cookware safety tips to cook in them but most of us donot follow them at the time of cooking. The non-stick properties of Teflon make cooking some types of food so much easier that it is unlikely that most people will ever go back to using traditional pots and pans considering their future family health risk.

Taflon structure

Statistics reported by the Cookware Manufacturers Association indicate that 90 percent of all the aluminum cookware sold in the United States in 2001 was coated with non-stick chemicals like Teflon (Cooks Illustrated, September 2002). Chemicals and tiny, toxic Teflon particles released from heated Teflon kill household pet birds. At least four of these chemicals never break down in the environment, and some are widely found in human blood. Consumers concerned about the effects of Teflon on human health and the environment should consider these alternatives:

Stainless Steel….
Stainless steel is a terrific alternative to a non-stick cooking surface. Most chefs agree that stainless steel browns foods better than non-stick surfaces. In their 2001 review of sauté pans, Cooks Illustrated, an independent publication, chose a stainless steel pan over otherwise identical non-stick models. They also recommended stainless steel pan roasters over non-stick.

Cast Iron….
Cast iron remains a great alternative to non-stick cooking surfaces. Lodge, America’s oldest family-owned cookware manufacturer, refers to their cookware as “natural non-stick.” Cast iron can be pre-heated to temperatures that will brown meat and will withstand oven temperatures well above what is considered safe for non-stick pans. Cast iron is extremely durable and can now be purchased pre-seasoned, ready-to-use.

Other Cooking Surfaces….
Because Teflon coated non-stick surfaces fail to brown foods there has been a push to find other “non-stick” cookware coating that will allow the use of higher temperatures and still clean up easily. Some examples include ceramic titanium and porcelain enameled cast iron. Both of these surfaces are very durable, better at browning foods than PTFE (Teflon) non-stick coatings, and are dishwasher safe. In her New York Times piece, “In Search of a Pan That Lets Cooks Forget About Teflon,” Marian Burros recommends Le Creuset enameled cast iron pans with a matte black interior. Anodized aluminum is another alternative, but some people question its safety, citing evidence in some studies linking aluminum exposures to Alzheimers.

Click to see :Hidden Dangers in the Kitchen

For more knowledge you may click to see how harmful nonstick  cookware is

Resources:
http://willtaft.com/health/i-do-not-use-teflon-cookware/
http://www.ewg.org/alternative-cookware

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News on Health & Science

Teflon Lawsuit Slides Off DuPont

A federal court has dismissed a group of consolidated cases against chemical and housewares company DuPont. The 22 suits alleged DuPont knew for more than 20 years that cookware containing the company’s non-stick coating, popularly known as Teflon, could make consumers sick, but concealed the evidence.
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The actions alleged that, when heated to normal cooking temperatures, Teflon-coated pans release toxic particles that pose a health risk to consumers. The suits specifically singled out perfluorooctanoic acid, colloquially known as PFOA, as the culprit of the emissions. However, U.S. District Judge Ronald Longstaff found that individual issues differing among the plaintiffs would each require their own inquiry, making the suits improper.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that PFOA is likely a cancer-causing agent in humans. An EPA study has shown the chemical to be present in the bloodstream of 90 percent of Americans.

Resources:

Consumer Affairs May 19, 2009
WTOP May 12, 2009
Reading Tea Leaves May 13, 2009

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