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Non-Stick Pans and Safety Issues

The most famous and common cookware is non-stick pans, but it has its own share of controversies. Never use metal utensils because metals like copper, etc. can leach into food during cooking. That is why the FDA has issued warnings against using unlined copper. Falling in line with the FDA issued warnings, the cooking surfaces are typically layered with tin, nickel or treated steel. Covered copper cookware can lose its protective coating if scratched, damaged or worn out. Remember that the metals of the “shielding” layer can blend with your food and make it toxic.

As per the Environmental Working Group, non-stick coatings can “reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit within just 3-5 minutes, discharging 15 poisonous gases and synthetic concoctions, including two cancer-causing agents.” With increasing heat, the fluoropolymers of non-stick layers discharge different lethal substances and not less than one ozone-harming element.

The most dangerous issue is the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This particular element remains in the environment and overexposure to it has made it discernible in the blood of practically all Americans, grown-ups and infants alike. PFOA is viewed as a presumable cancer-causing agent and is related to the probability of cholesterol and birth defects.

It is the reason behind mammary, pancreatic, testicular, pancreatic, mammary and liver lumps in rodents, and laborers exposed to PFOA have more risk for malignant growth and cancers of the male reproductive tract and pancreas. Furthermore, the non-stick finishes, when heated at extremely high temperature, release toxic fumes that can cause disease in people recognized as polymer fume fever. The fumes can kill birds, and makers caution against utilization of these pots in homes with pet birds… consequently the “canary in a coal mine” reference.

Most Americans possess at least one non-stick cookware coated with chemicals, and the below guidelines are for them to follow:

  • Try to cook at a temperature less than 450 degrees and try not to leave non-stick pans on an open flame or any heat source.
  • Avoid using metal utensils on non-stick cookware, and rinse the cooking pots with hand using nonabrasive pot cleaners with the sponge, not steel wool. Look out for the flaking or wear and tear of the layered surface.

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