Blog: BUNNYpants and SIPPYcup - Eclectic Menagerie
by Aharleygyrl

WARNING: Your Cookware Could be Making You Sick!

Non-stick=Fluoride, Aluminum and Perfluorooctanoic Acid. Stainless steel has alloys containing nickel, chromium, molybdenum, carbon and various other metals.

Date:   9/28/2007 9:13:55 AM   ( 14 y ) ... viewed 4600 times

Despite your best intentions to eat healthier meals, exercise regularly, drink pure water, and use key supplements, something scary could be preventing you from achieving your peak wellness.

And it lurks in your kitchen cabinets ...

Funny as it may sound, that scary "something " could be your pots and pans! Yes, the cookware you use to prepare your food might be downright dangerous to your health.

This may not be a new issue for you. As I continue to discuss the dangers of some types of cookware on the site, one of the most common questions I receive is "What type of cookware do you recommend?".

You'll find the answer below. But before you read this, it's important to know that I've been working on bringing a healthy and affordable cookware alternative to the U.S. for over two years!

I thought I had solved the problem when we received a major shipment of cookware just prior to the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, the initial manufacturer we worked with tried to "sneak in" a potentially dangerous non-stick fluoride based coating.

So I rejected the entire shipment (even though it cost many thousands of dollars). Obviously, there was no way I could sell this type of cookware on the site.

But finally, we found a reputable company to work with. Now, I'm proud to introduce the answer to your questions -- and what I feel is one of the most incredible values you will ever find in cookware.

As you know, I wouldn't advise you to throw anything out unless I've found that it has been linked to health problems. I'm as concerned about frugality as you are. But something that may cause severe health risks is another story.

And in my opinion, changing your cookware might be an easy and inexpensive secret that unlocks perplexing health problems -- and could be the key to avoiding hidden causes of long-term health risks.

Let me show you why ...

What Hidden Health Hazards Lurk in Your Cookware Cabinet?

Teflon is the most popular cookware in America. So what's wrong with it?

Well, for starters, teflon-coated aluminum contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical used in its production, creating its soap-like slipperiness and non-stick finish. PFOA has become very controversial because of health dangers linked to it.

  • In April of 2006, multiple class action lawsuits were filed against DuPont representing consumers in twenty states and the District of Columbia. DuPont was charged with exposing millions of Americans to health risks from pans containing PFOA. (And that DuPont knew of the risks but failed to disclose them.) 1

  • In May 2006, DuPont said it received a subpoena from the U.S. Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section to turn over documents about PFOA safety. This came just a month after DuPont settled a lawsuit -- with a fine of $10.25 million -- by the Environmental Protection Agency alleging that DuPont hid health data about PFOA for twenty years. 2,3

  • In March 2006, a scientific advisory panel to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advised that PFOA be labeled a "likely carcinogen".4 Manufacturers are to phase out 95 percent of production by 2010, and totally by 2015. It is important to note that this is a voluntary reduction by manufacturers.

Yet, despite mounting evidence, DuPont still claims that PFOA is safe ...

Just How Dangerous IS PFOA?

In animal studies, PFOA posed health hazards like:

  • Serious changes in organs including the brain, prostate, liver, thymus, and kidneys, showing toxicity.

  • Death of several rat pups that were exposed to PFOA.

  • Changes in the pituitary in female rats, at all doses. The pituitary controls growth, reproduction, and many metabolic functions. Changes in the size of the pituitary are considered an indication of toxicity.

  • PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests, and has been implicated in an increase in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers. 5

My Concern: You Could Be Endangering Your Family and Pets Just by Cooking with Teflon

In studies of heated non-stick pans on conventional stovetops commissioned by the consumer watchdog organization Environmental Working Group, it only took 2-5 minutes to reach temperatures producing dangerous toxins. The coating begins to break down and release toxins into the air at only 446 degrees. 6

But wait! It doesn't stop here. At 680 degrees (3 to 5 minutes), non-stick pans release at least six toxic gasses, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants and MFA, a chemical deadly to humans at low doses.7 The vapors from using these pans with high heat also caused instant death to pet birds.

I'm afraid the "canary in the coal mine" is not a myth. In cases of "Teflon toxicosis", the lungs of exposed birds hemorrhage and fill with fluid, leading to what must be an agonizing death from suffocation. Is it such a stretch to wonder what these fumes could be doing to you and your children?

Even DuPont acknowledges that the fumes can make you sick -- they call it "polymer fume fever". They list the symptoms as: fever between 100 and 104 degrees, chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache, cough, chills, and sore throat, based on a survey of workers who complained of the illness. 8

Although this type of cookware is most widely known by the brand name Teflon, there are many other nonstick brand names that contain this toxic coating, including: Silverstone, Fluron, Supra, Excalibur, Greblon, Xylon, Duracote, Resistal, Autograph and T-Fal, to name just a few.

Ditch that Aluminum and Stainless Steel Cookware, Too

Even after you purge your kitchen of Teflon, you may still be harboring danger -- this time in the form of aluminum or stainless steel.

I would not recommend aluminum pans for cooking if you want to enjoy your golden years. Aluminum is a strongly suspected causal factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD).9 AD is dreaded by people more than cancer and heart disease, for good reason.

Aluminum is considered a "reactive" metal, meaning that it reacts with salty or acidic foods to release itself into the food. You can also be exposed to aluminum when Teflon chips off a coated aluminum pan.

Next to Teflon, the most common cookware alternative is stainless steel, accounting for one-third of U.S. cookware sales. And some cooks prefer the "clad" or "three-ply" varieties that have an aluminum or copper base sandwiched between layers of stainless steel.

Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel may not be an inert metal either. All stainless steel has alloys containing nickel, chromium, molybdenum, carbon and various other metals.

In a study done on heart patients receiving stainless steel stents, restenosis occurred in 50% of patients. Allergies to the nickel and molybdenum in the stainless steel were suspected as a causal factor.

While this study is clearly not cooking-related, cooking with stainless-steel, clad or not, increases the likelihood that metals will leach into your food. This is especially true if cookware is pitted due to extended use or storage of acidic foods. For those with nickel allergies, it's a particularly important problem.

Copper is an alternative with even heat distribution. However, it should not have direct contact with food, due to the possibility of copper poisoning. Therefore, most copper pans come lined with other metals, creating the same concerns noted above. Copper pans are also extremely costly.

Once you realize that Teflon may be deadly, stainless steel is reactive, and copper is no good either, where do you turn? With my growing realization that today's popular cookware has so many health-related issues, I began the search for a better alternative.

And, great news for all of us! I found an impressive choice that offers a load of benefits at a very reasonable cost.

In My Opinion, the Ultimate Choice for the Healthy Frugal Gourmet is -- Enameled Cast Iron Cookware by Range Kleen

This is the new and improved version of cookware that your grandmother probably used.


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