(Natural News – David Gutierrez) Did you know that nonstick cookware is made with highly reactive and toxic fluoride chemicals that can turn to toxic gas at everyday cooking temperatures?
Although numerous chemicals are used to produce nonstick coatings, all of them are in the family known a perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). These toxins have been linked to a wide array of health problems, including thyroid dysfunction, lowered infant birth weight, liver inflammation, high cholesterol and weakened immune function. They build up in the body and are nearly impossible to flush out or destroy. They have been found in the bodies of nearly every U.S. resident tested.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFCs – including those released by your Teflon cookware – exhibit “persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity properties to an extraordinary degree.”
Canary in a coal mine
So how exactly do PFCs get from your nonstick pan and into your body? Particularly when, according to DuPont, Teflon is made from a chemical known as PTFE which is biologically inert?
The problem is that at high temperatures, PTFE and other “Teflon chemicals” begin to break down into more toxic byproducts. These chemicals then aerosolize and can be inhaled. It is well established that toxic chemicals produced from heating nonstick pans can kill pet birds (which, like the famed “canary in the coal mine,” have more sensitive lungs than human beings). Inhaling these chemicals can also produce acute poisoning in humans, leading to a cluster of flu-like symptoms known as “Teflon flu.”
Although cookware manufacturers regularly claim that pans need to be heated to extraordinary temperatures to release toxic fumes, tests by the Environmental Working Group showed that it took just two to five minutes for a pan on a regular stove-top to reach these temperatures.
For example, birds have been shown to die when pans are heated to as low as 325 degrees. At 680 degrees, nonstick pans release chemicals shown to cause cancer, kidney damage and even fatal poisoning.
A nonstick pan can reach 750 degrees after being heated for just eight minutes.
Notably, there has been almost no research conducted on the health effects of long-term exposure to Teflon fumes. Nor has there been any followup to look for long-term effects from Teflon flu.
What is known, however, is that PFC breakdown products, including those of Teflon, accumulate in the human body, causing lifelong health effects. PFCs have been shown to be so resistant to being broken down or flushed from the body that a single exposure can cause the chemicals to remain in the body for decades. Higher body burden of PFCs has been linked to elevated risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke.
Use cast iron for your health
Perhaps the worst part of the fact that so many people are poisoning themselves for the supposed convenience of nonstick pans, is that it’s completely unnecessary. You can get the same convenience from a cast-iron pan, and it will actually improve your health rather than worsening it.
Although they have a reputation of being hard to care for, cast-iron cookware is actually very low maintenance. It simply needs to be scrubbed clean with just water (no soap) after each use, then dried completely and given a very light coating of oil. A well seasoned cast-iron is nonstick, and becomes more so over time; the oil used in cooking forms a tight seal.
Cast-iron is incredibly durable, and can be expected to last for your entire lifetime. This makes it a much better value for its cost than any other type of cookware, given that a pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet retails for less than $20!
Due to its thickness, cast-iron cookware distributes heat more evenly, and can be used to give food much more appealing flavor and textures than other cookware. It can even be used in the oven.
And to top it off, cooking with cast-iron actually increases the amount of iron in your diet.
So why would anyone keep using toxic Teflon?
Sources for this article include: