(NaturalNews) For years people and restaurants flocked to the non-stick technological cooking breakthrough. However, studies done over the last 20 years have indicated that non-stick surfaces release deadly toxic gases and other poisonous substances that cause significant concern to users.
The government approved non-stick cookware for use with food in 1960 without any significant safety testing. In fact, the FDA had no specific regulation data for approving cookware at the time. Testing showed non-stick related chemicals in hamburger meat when the meat was fried on heat-aged and old pans, but the chemicals were considered safe at the time.
Over the last 50 years many of the companies that produce non-stick coatings have claimed that these products do not emit hazardous chemicals through normal use. More recently these companies have stated that `significant decomposition of the coating will occur only temperatures exceed above 660 degrees F (340 degrees C). These temperatures are well above normal cooking range.`
In recent tests a non-stick frying pan preheated on a conventional, electric stovetop burner reached 736 degrees F in 3 minutes and 20 seconds with temperatures still rising when the tests were halted. The leading brand was shown to hit 721 degrees at 5 minutes. Industry studies have shown that non-stick cookware can release toxic particulates at 446 degrees F. At 680 degrees F, non-stick pans release at least six massively toxic gases. At even higher temperatures reached by stovetop drip pans (1000 degrees F), the non-stick
coating breaks down to PFIB, which is a known chemical warfare agent and analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene.
Although there are many toxic chemicals released by cooking on non-stick pans, the EPA has recently focused its attention on the chemical
perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). PFOA is only one of the perfluorinated chemicals found in these surfaces. Aside from being used in the manufacturing process of non-stick coatings, they are also used in countless items such as food packaging, upholstery and personal care products
, along with:
Clothing ('no-iron' and 'wrinkle-free' apparel)
Nail polish removers
Products designed to repel soil, grease and water, such as carpet and furniture treatments
Pizza boxes, microwave popcorn, and other non-stick food wraps
Protective sprays for leather, shoes, and clothing
The FDA also found PFOA
in microwaveable popcorn packaging where it migrates to the oil on the popcorn during the heating process. It is estimated that 95% of Americans, including young children, have PFOA in their blood.
`In retrospect, this may seem like one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mistakes the chemical industry has ever made,` said Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group, an activist organization. `And how could they not be in our blood? They`re in such a huge range of consumer products.`
The EPA has also revealed that PFOA poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans while animal studies have linked the chemical to:
Risks of liver, pancreatic, testicular and mammary gland tumors
Altered thyroid hormone regulation
Damage to your immune system
Reproductive problems, infertility and birth defects
The EPA accused the non-stick industry of lying and failing to relate important health information about PFOA as far back as 1981. In 2005, the non-stick industry reached a settlement with federal officials that included over $313 million for concealing the harmful health effects of PFOA. Many in the industry continue to say that non-stick products are completely safe even though the EPA has asked for their complete withdrawal from the marketplace by 2015.
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