Friday, October 15, 2010

Article: CNN's "Toxic America" Series Recommends Cast Iron Cookware

A Teflon pan releases PFOA into your food at medium-high heat
CNN has been running a series on chemicals that are known or suspected carcinogens that happen to be in the bloodstreams of nearly all Americans—including babies that haven't been born.

One of the articles in the series covers 5 toxic household chemicals, and offers guidance on avoiding them.

One of these toxic chemicals is PFOA, or perflourooctanoic acid.  PFOA is a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon and other non-stick cookware.

According to the CNN report, "PFOA causes cancer and developmental problems in laboratory animals."  The CNN report goes on to note that the EPA has determined that research on PFOA is "suggestive of carcinogenicity but not sufficient to assess human carcinogenic potential."

In other words, the EPA is pretty sure PFOA is bad stuff, but because it would be unethical to run an experiment on humans to prove it, they can't say for sure.

CNN's recommendation:

"You can reduce potential exposure by using stainless steel or cast iron cookware. If you use nonstick cookware, do not overheat, which releases toxic gas."

I heartily agree with CNN. But I'm biased.

Or am I?

I don't sell anything on this website. My only bias comes from the fact that I have two small children and a wife that I love very much, and I'd like to keep the carcinogens in their bloodstreams to a minimum.

On the subject of bias...

DuPont, the manufacturer of Teflon, has agreed to reduce the presence of PFOA in their products by 95%. This is an abrupt about-face for DuPont, who for the past 30 years has steadfastly denied any dangers associated with PFOA or Teflon. It turns out DuPont was lying, and in 2006 the EPA fined DuPont $16.5 million for the cover up. NOTE: $16.5 million represents roughly 1/50th of 1% of DuPont's profits during those years.

Given the 3-decade lag between when DuPont knew about the dangers of PFOA and when they began removing it from their products, I don't trust that whatever chemical they decide to use instead of PFOA will be safe.

And I'm not waiting 30 years to find out.

If that sounds sensible to you, I encourage you to check out my collection of recipes using cast iron and stainless steel cookware. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for visiting, and thanks even more for leaving a comment. I'll respond as soon as the kids are asleep.