When cooking is dangerous
It is a fact that non-stick cookware is not your best friend when it comes to health. Sure, you do not have to worry much about the cleaning bit, but what about your health? What about all those fumes that you are unconsciously inhaling? Instead of being stuck with this potentially carcinogenic cookware, you can choose a better option. Studies show that there are no health hazards associated with cast iron or stainless steel, even though cleaning them is a more tedious affair than cleaning non-stick pans. It is important to know how non-stick cookware and cancer go hand in hand.
Here is the Big No No’s when it comes To Non- Stick Cookware:
1. Increased cancer risk
Non- stick cookware refers to cookware that is metallic but which is coated with a synthetic fiber, polytetrafluoroethylene, abbreviated as PTFE, but more widely known as Teflon. Teflon products have been around since the 1940’s. Non-stick pans owe their popularity to the simple fact that they are non-stick: easy to use and convenient to clean. However, before getting too carried away with the benefits of this cookware, it is important to consider what side effects the products might have. Remember, when the deal is too good, think twice, or in this case, research twice.
For a long time in history, plastics have been associated with numerous health risks, and Teflon shows no immunity to this association. Rarely have plastics proven to be on the good side of human health although in ordinary life they are of utmost importance. In the case of Teflon, one of the main chemicals used to make it is perfluorooctanoic acid (these names!) abbreviated as PFOA. Now this is a deadly chemical. When Teflon is used in cooking, it emits fumes that contain, regardless of how small the concentration is, PFOA. Research seems to lean in the direction that all plastics will leach chemicals when scratched or heated. You can guess which of the two will leach more chemicals: heating of course. At higher levels, research shows that these leached chemicals can cause cancer. So when Teflon is heated, especially to very high temperatures, it produces toxic fumes that contain PFOA.
When tested on animals at high levels, PFOA caused tumors that grow on certain organs such as the liver, pancreas and testicles. Even though this research is not conclusive on PFOA effects on human beings and whether they are carcinogenic, it might be worth your attention to note that most lab experiments on animals usually produce similar results on people. And the way that cancer shows its face is by abnormal growth and multiplication of certain body cells. Link the two and you reach the conclusion that non-stick cookware is not the safest: it does increase the risk of getting cancer.
2. Teflon Flu
If anyone had doubts about the credibility of non-stick cookware causing cancer, then they ought to be convinced by the Teflon flu that non-stick cookware is not the best cookware health wise, although it does have its advantages. When heated to high degrees, which is most likely to happen while you cook, non-stick cookware produces toxic fumes that cause flu- like symptoms collectively dubbed” Teflon flu”. Now anything that produces fumes, and worse still, toxic fumes when heated is certainly not very good for cooking in, is it?
Worse still, these fumes have been known to kill pet birds almost instantly. You don’t want to lose your beloved pet to your cookware, which is already posing a health risk to you.
3. Other health risks
The chemical family to which Teflon belongs, known as perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs in short has Environmental Agencies up in arms. This is so because when these products are heated and release PFOA, then it is a health risk worth your concern. Inhalation of fumes produced by burning PCF’s in high concentrations has been associated with smaller birth weight and size, elevated cholesterol levels, liver inflammation, weakened immunity and abnormal thyroid levels.
Moreover, according to a study in the United States of America, most citizens already have low levels of PFOA in their blood levels. The disturbing thing about this is that that PFOA can remain in the blood for years, and yet no conclusive research has been carried out to determine the long-term effects of this. So let me get back to my stainless steel skillet. Hugs