If I had to take one guess at the kitchen item that all households have I would say cookware. We may not even have toilet paper but we will have a pot or a pan under the sink. Which leads to the bigger question: "What materials are your pots and pans made from?" And while I can't speak for everyone, I feel I can safely say that the majority of the cookware being sold has a Teflon-covered, non-stick coating on the inside of the pan.
So I'm sure you're saying "And... what's the big deal? It's being sold in stores all across America so it must be safe." Well, after pondering the question and a lot of research, I'm here to tell you that it's not according to many. Now some of us may think that just because you purchased your pot from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and not the Dollar Store that you're safe. Wrong! It doesn't matter if you spent $1.00 or $100 the end result is non-stick has made it into your home cabinets.So let's get right to the matter at hand.
Teflon-coated aluminum contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical used in its production. After 3-5 quick minutes of cooking at 680 degrees these non-stick pans release at least six toxic gasses, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants and MFA, an airborne chemical deadly to humans even in low doses. Also note that aluminum is strongly suspected as one of the factors contributing to Alzheimer's disease, which by the way is just one of many problems that the government now acknowledges.
Chemicals used in non-stick- and stain-resistant products are also reaching children in the womb and may be tied to "small decreases" in the size and weight of newborns, according to two studies by Johns Hopkins University researchers. According to findings from the University's School of Public Health & Organic Consumers Organization there has been a growing wave of scientific investigations, triggered by concerns over the discovery that perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoate acids, called PFOA, are present in human and animal blood around the globe. Dupont, one of the major producers of Teflon-coated cookware was sued back in 2005 on the basis that:
"DuPont has known for over 20 years that the Teflon product and the PFOA chemical it contains causes cancer in laboratory animals," Kluger said. "I don't have to prove that it causes cancer. I only have to prove that DuPont lied in a massive attempt to continue selling their product."
That case has apparently been settled as far as the EPA is concerned, but the class-action suits are apparently proceeding. While Dupont will likely be made to pay, the real losers have been us. And it's not just cookware, Teflon is in in everything it seems including;
Airplane parts, exteriors and coatings
Anti-wrinkle creams and treatments (eg, skin injections)
Auto engine parts
Camping equipment and outdoor clothing - eg, Goretex
Carpets and rugs
Clothing for adults, children and infants
Curling irons/ hair straighteners
Fast food container linings
Furniture - sofas, chairs, beds
Gardening equipment and patio furniture
House paint, interior and exterior
Kitchen utensils and gadgets
Irons and ironing board covers
Nail polish and hardener
Pet bedding, leashes, collars and harnesses
Prosthetic devices and reconstructive surgery
Razor blades and shaving foam/ gel
Solar panel coatings
Spectacles with scratch-resistant lenses