Non-stick pans are the bane of healthy cooks everywhere, but they’re not all created equal. There are some coatings available on the market today that don’t contain PFAs and that create a healthier cookware option. From stainless steel to ceramic to silicone, these alternatives offer better health benefits for you and your family, in addition to durability and ease of use.
Pans without PFAs
Disadvantages of PFAs
PFAS encompasses a family of thousands of individual chemicals used in many industrial and commercial products. As a group, PFAS chemicals are highly resistant to heat, water and oil, making them highly useful for many industrial applications and consumer products ranging from non-stick cookware to stain-resistant fabrics. AFFFs were developed by the U.S. Naval Research Lab in the 1960s to extinguish fuel fires fasters. At military sites, PFAS accumulation is often found near fire fighting training areas, hangers, runways and crash sites. High accumulation of PFAS is also associated with sludge disposal areas and oil-water separators.
The same chemical properties that make PFAS so effective in firefighting foams and other products make them particularly hard to remediate. PFAS chemicals have very limited reactivity. As a result, PFAS is both highly persistent in the environment and bio accumulative in human and animal tissues. This is especially true for “long-chain” PFAS chemicals such as perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS), which was until recently commonly used in firefighting foams. Some PFAS chemicals also have the potential to travel through the environment, meaning contamination in soil can sometimes make its way into groundwater.
Toxicology studies have raised concern about potential toxic effects for humans exposed to PFAS, including possible developmental effects for fetuses’ and young children. Other studies have pointed to possible links to cancer, immune system disorders and fertility problems. For these reasons, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set lifetime health advisory levels for PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), another long-chain PFAS chemical, at just 70 parts per trillion.
Healthy non stick pan options
Ceramic-coated cookware is touted as a toxin-free alternative to traditional non-stick options because it doesn’t contain PFOA, PFAS, PTFE, lead, or cadmium. Also, unlike traditional non-stick pans coated with PTFE (Teflon), there is no risk of releasing harmful fumes if ceramic cookware is overheated.
Teflon is a synthetic chemical made up of carbon and fluorine atoms. It was first created in the 1930s and provides a nonreactive, non-stick, and almost frictionless surface. The non-stick surface makes Teflon-coated cookware convenient to use and easy to clean.
can be used safely if it is well maintained, but the heated fumes that are released when the non-stick surface is damaged can harm people’s health. The release of these fumes can cause flu-like symptoms in people with asthma, and possibly contribute to long-term health effects such as cancer. This includes breakage and damage from normal use: PTFE will break down and begin to emit toxic fumes when heated above 660 °F (350 °C), although pans coated with PTFE are often marketed as being able to withstand higher temperatures.
What is PFOA free?
PFOA is the acronym for perfluorooctanoic acid. It’s a chemical (specifically, a perfluorochemical) used to make products with high resistance to heat, water, oil, and stains. . PFOA-free cookware is simply cookware manufactured without the use of PFOA.
Do all non stick pans have PTFEQ?
Most non-stick pans are coated with polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon. … Fortunately, most manufacturers of non-stick pans have phased out the use of perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, which is a suspected carcinogen.
Are stainless steel pans PTFE free?
Stainless steel pans are not coated with PTFE. Even though stainless steel pans are protected from the effects of heat, oil, and water by the outer surface of the pan itself, it is not a completely non-stick surface. However, the pans are made to withstand high temperatures and reduce the risk of fat or grease burning on the surface of the pans.