If you’re going to go to the trouble of cooking and eating ‘clean’ food, then it makes sense to make sure your cooking methods, appliances, utensils and storage containers are free of toxins too!
This article from Dr Mercola reveals the dangers that may be lurking in your pots and pans!
“Non-stick cookware and bakeware has become enormously popular because of its convenience. Foods slide right off, reducing the amount of elbow-grease required to clean the pan.
Ditto for stain- and water-repellant clothing, carpets and fabrics, and many other treated products that have emerged over the past six decades.
But there may be a high price to pay for this convenience, as the poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used to create these surfaces are toxic and highly persistent, both in your body and in the environment.
As you can tell by the names, PFAS are fluorinated chemicals. It’s actually the fluorine atoms that provide that hallmark slipperiness. I first became aware of the dangers of fluoride-impregnated non-stick coatings back in 2001.
I revised my cookware recommendations back then, and many of the health concerns I’ve warned about since then were recently confirmed by hundreds of international scientists.
You Probably Have PFAS in Your Home—And in Your Body
When heated, non-stick cookware becomes a source of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a long-chain perfluorinated chemical linked to a range of health problems, including thyroid disease, infertility in women, and organ damage and developmental and reproductive problems in lab animals.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also ruled perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) as “likely carcinogens.” Despite that, these chemicals are still used in a wide array of household products. Besides non-stick cookware, PFCs are used to create heat-resistant and non-stick coatings on:
- Soil- and water-repellant carpet and furniture treatments
- Stain- and water-repellant clothing
- Protective sprays for leather and shoes
- Food wraps, pizza boxes, and microwave popcorn bags
- Paint and cleaning products
They’re also found in flame retardant chemicals (and, hence, items treated with flame retardants). PFCs are also being released into the environment via factory emissions, and during house fires when treated items burn.
According to the CDC’s “Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals,”1 published in 2009, 12 different PFCs were detected in Americans, including PFOA. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR):2
“Once in your body, perfluoroalkyls tend to remain unchanged for long periods of time. The most commonly used perfluoroalkyls (PFOA and PFOS) stay in the body for many years. It takes approximately four years for the level in the body to go down by half, even if no more is taken in.”
While there’s a dizzying array of chemical names in the PFAS groups, if an item is either non-stick, waterproof, or stain-resistant, it has some type of fluoride-impregnated coating that provides the slipperiness, and you can be virtually guaranteed it will be problematic.”