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Is Your Cookware Toxic?

Non-stick cookware

This category of cookware contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical used in production that creates the non-stick finish.  The coating on the pan breaks down when heated causing toxic fumes release into the air.  In animal studies, PFOA caused cancer and toxicity of several organs including the brain, prostate, liver and kidneys.

In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PFOA was detected in close to 98% of the population. A study reported in 2007, and conducted by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, newborn infants face exposure to PFOA while in the womb. The research analysis detected PFOA in 100% of the newborns examined.

Side note: PFOA is not only used to manufacture Teflon, but is also a breakdown product of chemicals used to coat food packaging, including fast food like McDonald’s, and stain-resistant coatings for couches, carpets, and clothing.   

Non-stick cookware, unrelated to PFOA, has already been implicated in increased instances of cancer in the pancreas, liver, testicles, and mammary glands, as well as miscarriages, thyroid problems, weakened immune systems, and low organ weights.

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum is a “reactive” metal, meaning that it reacts with salty or acidic foods to release itself into your food. Dietary sources of aluminum include cookware, containers, foil, and utensils. You can also face exposure to aluminum when the non-stick surface chips off a coated aluminum pan.  Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease as well as other health concerns.

Stainless Steel Cookware

There are several varieties of stainless steel pots and pans. Some contain aluminum or copper sandwiched between layers of stainless steel.  All stainless steel has alloys

containing nickel, chromium, molybdenum, carbon, and various other metals.  Stainless steel, clad or not, may increase the likelihood that metals will leach into your food. This is especially true if the cookware becomes pitted due to extended use or storage of acidic foods. For those with nickel allergies, it could be a particularly concerning problem.

Copper Cookware

Copper can leach out into the food when cooking with it. Some may experience digestive issues if enough copper leaches out.  Actually most copper pans come lined with other metals, creating the same concerns noted above.


Ceramic Cookware- Your healthy choice

This cookware wins as it contains no lead, cadmium, aluminum, copper, nickel, chromium, iron or any other heavy metals.  We don’t need to worry about chemicals leaching into your food. Ceramcor’s line Xtrema uses non-toxic ceramic glaze.  Not all ceramic cookware are created equal.  Some ceramic companies have a top layer made with chemicals.


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