Friday, March 16, 2007

Cookware - We Eat Chemicals and Metal!

Is metal cookware harmful to our health? With the recent discovery of Teflon’s negative health effects, many people are wondering which, if any, cookware is safe to use. Between chemical non-stick films and metal cookware, it can be confusing!

The danger of Teflon and other nonstick cookware comes from the chemicals used in making those nonstick films. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is the main chemical used in nonstick cookware. Two independent studies, one of which was conducted by the EPA, found that PFOA is “likely to be carcinogenic” in lab rats. However, according to the EPA, PFOA does not remain in the cookware after it has been manufactured and thus does not pose a health risk to humans. But how do they know for sure? My concern is this: what happens to that PFOA when that nonstick coating scratches off and gets into the food? Some experts say that because the chemical coating is inert and not absorbed by the body, there is no problem. Are we really sure that this stuff passes through our bodies with no absorption whatsoever? Not to go down a slippery slope here, but it only takes a microgram being absorbed a tiny cell to start cell mutation…and cell mutations are what cancer is.

Cast iron cookware can actually benefit our health if we are careful. Because cast iron releases about 6 milligrams of iron into food every time it is used, it is important that people who use cast iron not take in too much iron from other sources. However, since most Americans don’t get enough iron in their diets, this probably won’t be too much of a problem. The same goes for other metal cookware like stainless steel.

My point: be careful what you choose. I do question some of the authorities who say that nonstick cookware is completely safe, especially since those chemicals get into the environment through landfills and never break down! If they don't break down in the elements of nature they probably can't break down in our bodies, meaning that they stay there, and possibly get absorbed into our cells. I’d rather be safe than sorry…

Info. found at:

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