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Is your new non-stick pan putting you at risk of cancer?

by , 08 October 2014

We've all seen the ad where a chef blows a pancake out of a pan because of its great non-stick quality! It's the answer to no more scraping, scratching or half-burnt pieces of food at the bottom of your pots and pans.

Despite this technology being around since the 40s, recent health reports blame it for various types of cancer. They say the chemical in the non-stick coating leaches into food and harms your health.

Before you throw out your favourite pots and pans because of their potential cancer risk, wait!

While it's true that Teflon and other non-stick products contain cancer-causing chemicals, there's something else you need to consider. They might not actually be affecting your health at all!

Here's what research has to say about it…

Don’t throw out your non-stick pan! It doesn’t cause cancer

The reason health fanatics are up in arms about Teflon and other types of non-stick products is because of the main chemical in them.
PFOA – perfluorooctanoic acid – is the agent manufacturer’s use to make non-stick cookware. You may have heard about them when it comes to braaiing meat. They’re the cancer-causing molecules that form when your meat burns or chars on the braai.
But here’s the thing: In non-stick cookware, the chemical is “locked-in” so it doesn’t affect the food you cook in the pot or pan.
WebMD.com explains that the PFOAs aren’t in the final Teflon product in the form that’s dangerous. They’re only harmful to your health when they come from environmental sources, like when you cook your meat and it burns on a fire.
So using your non-stick or Teflon coated cookware is completely safe for everyday use.
But with that being said, negligent use of your pan can harm your health!
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If you leave your pot or pan to burn on the stove, it’ll harm your health

There’s one sure fire way to become ill from using pots and pans containing Teflon or other non-stick coatings. And that’s to leave them burning on the stove.
Prof Robert Wolke from the University of Pittsburgh says leaving your pots or pans burning on the stovetop can cause health issues. Leaving it to heat up above 260 degrees causes other chemical reaction to form and can cause flu-like symptoms if you breathe in the smoke.
It’s so dangerous, it could cause pet birds in the home to die!
That’s why he says it’s essential to make sure you watch your pots and pans on the stove and ensure you have a good smoke detector in your home.
As you can see, there’s no reason for you to get rid of your new non-stick pots and pans because you’re worried about cancer.
But if you’d rather use natural cookware, here are three products that contain the least chemicals when they’re made.
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If you’re worried about cancer-causing chemicals in your cookware, here are three natural alternatives

#1. Glass: The Huffington Post says it’s the most inert substance and it doesn’t leach chemicals at all. Tempered glass – the type made for cooking – is also safe to use at very high temperatures whether on the stovetop, in the oven or in the microwave.
#2: Ceramic: It’s also safe to use without the worry about chemicals. It holds heat very well, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular in slow cooking recipes.
#3: Cast-iron: Here’s a natural alternative that’ll save you electricity too. It holds heat for a long time after you turn the element off. It’s safe to use in all types of cooking and doesn’t leach chemicals into your food.
There you have it! While your non-stick cookware is completely safe to use and doesn’t cause cancer because of the chemicals it contains, try these alternatives if you’re concerned for your health.

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