Monday, July 25, 2005

Is Your Teflon Pan Causing Health Problems?

More Troubles With Teflon Toxicity
It appears DuPont Co. has cooked up some trouble, for a federal grand jury has slapped the company with a subpoena -- via a request from the U.S. Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section -- regarding the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a controversial chemical used to make Teflon non-stick coatings.

And the subpoena comes only a month after Dupont agreed to a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it failed to disclose health safety information about PFOA for 20 years.

Further, while a DuPont spokesman claimed no specific charges have been spelled out yet, the federal grand jury requested documents that were previously turned over to the EPA. The company must turn over the materials by late June.

According to the EPA:

PFOA remains in humans for years; small amounts of the chemical are believed to be present in a large proportion of the American public.

Evidence has shown the chemical can cause cancers in rats; the report said PFOA targets the liver in rats and could increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels in humans.

A small ray of hope: DuPont has previously announced plans to replace PFOA in some products by late 2006.

Reuters May 19, 2005


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Teflon-coated cookware does offer a certain level of convenience that is difficult to find elsewhere. But are you willing to sacrifice your health for ease in kitchen cleanup? I know I certainly am not, and there are many practical tricks you can use to achieve virtually the same benefit as you do with non-stick cookware.

In case you weren't aware, those non-stick finishes vaporize when you turn up the heat and can cause some very serious health symptoms. I am surprised to tell you that this Web site was one of the first to report the health consequences of this.

It has been known for some time that volatile gases were released when the non-stick pans were heated, but it wasn't until earlier this year that energy psychology pioneer Gary Craig identified that it had not been previously documented. Since this article ran in February, we have received dozens of reports of people's bizarre symptoms that have completely resolved once they stopped using the Teflon non-stick pans.

So, obviously, my strong recommendation is to ditch the pans and avoid non-stick finishes.

If you plan to continue using these products, please at least refrain from cooking with them at high heat, or continuing to use them if they been scratched, as both situations can liberate the toxic chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into your food.

The best and safest cookware you can use is ceramic-coated metal, as ceramic is virtually inert and will not transfer any metal ions to your food. I am actually researching specific brands to recommend and may have some shortly.

For safe cooking, it is also important to use a stable oil like coconut oil -- vegetable oils are easily damaged by the heat -- and not overcook your food.

No comments: