We all love our nonstick cookware. Those eggs slide right off the slick nonstick coated pan, leaving no mess and nothing to scrape.
Unfortunately, evidence is mounting that nonstick cookware could be hazardous to your health and even fatal to your pets. The Environmental Working Group (EVG), a watchdog environmental non-profit, has extensively researched and questioned claims that nonstick chemicals are safe. In 2005, EWG found that six studies pointed to a risk for heart attack and stroke arising from exposure to PFOA, a chemical found in nonstick materials. Other data showed possible links between PFOA and many kinds of cancer, including breast, testicular, pancreatic and liver cancers. Still other studies suggested PFOA suppresses the immune system and damages the pituitary gland.
In 2006 an EPA panel concluded that PFOA is a “likely human carcinogen,” yet the chemical continues to be used not just in nonstick cookware but also in a variety of other applications from stain-repellent clothes and carpet to grease-repellent fast food packaging to cleaning products.
PFOA never breaks down. Another EWG study showed that 95 percent of Americans’ blood, including all ten newborns studied, showed the presence of PFOA. This chemical is now everywhere–from our bodies to the air and water we use.
In 2006, eight makers of nonstick coatings agreed to phase out any possible release of PFOA into the environment from consumer products or manufacturing centers by 2015.
Anyone serious about living a more green and natural lifestyle should seriously consider immediately disposing of any nonstick products, especially nonstick cookware.
EWG sees stainless steel cookware as a fantastic, much healthier alternative–while it may be a bit more inconvenient to wash, it’s worth it so as to ensure that something so hazardous is nowhere near our homes or families. It’s also dishwasher safe. It has the added benefit of browning food much better than nonstick cookware.
EWG also recommends cast iron cookware–it is very durable, can withstand very high temperatures on the stove or in the oven, and can be purchased pre-seasoned ready for use.
The small convenience offered by nonstick pans isn’t worth the risks. Please consider saying “no” to nonstick cookware and adopting a healthier alternative.