TEFLON: America’s Dream or America’s Nightmare?
The True Story.
Years ago, I’ll never forget when my now-husband was flabbergastered that I was stirring my pasta with a stainless steel fork… in the Teflon pot. I thought he was crazy and had no idea the health impact I was truly causing.
What did he know about cooking anyway? After giving him the sarcastic “side eye”, I continued to swirl. Little did I know, the pot itself was leaching toxic chemicals and with every knick, scratch, and stir even more chemicals were being released into my delicious Italian cuisine and then… again later when I cooked our next meal for days, weeks, months, and years to come.
Imagine my surprise, years later I came across the award-winning documentary, “The Devil We Know”, which confirmed everything I had known, but didn’t want to acknowledge. Teflon. Is. Toxic.
As mentioned in ‘The Devil We Know’, according to numerous studies…
- “It only takes 2-5 minutes on a stove top for Teflon cookware to overheat and create toxic particles and gases, according to numerous studies.” Source: EWG
- “American babies are born pre-polluted with more than 200 chemicals in their blood, 180 of which are known to cause cancer in humans or animals.” Source: EWG
- “Drinking water is the primary route of exposure [to PFOA chemicals] in some populations, but exposure sources are not well understood. PFOA has been used to manufacture such products as Gore-Tex and Teflon. PFOA does not break down in the environment.” Source: National Center for Biotechnical Information.
- “The chemical used in Telfon has been linked to 6 diseases including testicular and kidney cancers.” Source: New York Times
From “The Devil We Know”: The Chemistry of a Cover Up…
“When a handful of West Virginia residents discover DuPont has been pumping its poisonous Teflon chemical into the air and public water supply of more than 70,000 people, they file one of the largest class action lawsuits in the history of environmental law.” The chemical caused cancer, death, and birth defects in unborn children of pregnant workers among other devastating consequences. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), “99% of American’s have the toxic chemical, PFOA, in their blood, including babies. This is the chemical used to make Teflon.” It didn’t stop there though, the spread of PFAS chemicals has gone global to China and beyond. FACT: PFOA is one of more than 80,000+ untested chemicals that have been approved for use, their dangers unknown.”
What can I use instead of toxic Teflon Cookware?
Stainless steel, clear glass, and cast iron are safe options. Avoid ceramic due to possible lead contamination in the glaze. Avoid aluminum due to harmful health hazards it poses as it has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s among other things. I also avoid GMO oils.
- STAINLESS STEEL: As long as it is 100% stainless steel, it should be safe to use. Calphalon, Cuisinart, and All-Clad are brands I use and recommend.
- CAST IRON: For the best of the best, I love and recommend Finex. This skillet in particular is perfect for our everyday cooking needs. While I do recommend and use this Lodge Cast Iron skillet as well, I strip and reseason Lodge Cast Iron with organic flax seed oil before use due to the original seasoning containing GMOs. Both of these brands are made in the USA.
- GLASS: We use this Pyrex baking tray in the oven all the time and it works great! Typically, clear glass without any writing is best, as oftentimes the writing on glass can contain lead or cadmium.
What about Coringware Visions Cookware? Visions Cookware is perfect for the stove top, but unfortunately after rigorous XRF testing by Lead Safe Mama, Tamara Rubin, some of them have tested positive for low amounts of lead and therefore, I cannot recommend them here.
What other products besides pots and pans use PFAS chemicals?
PFAS chemicals are found in water-proof, stain-proof, and wrinkle-proof clothing, furniture, home goods, carpeting, food packaging, and even dental floss! Worst of all they have contaminated our drinking water and our air! Fortunately more and more brands are starting to phase out these chemicals as their toxic effects become more prevalent.
Which brands and products are PFAS-Free?
- OUTDOOR: Columbia (Outdry Ex Eco products ONLY, all others contain PFAS. See policy), Deuter (all products, policy), Didriksons (all products, policy), Jack Wolfskin (all products, policy), Mammut (select products, policy), Marmot (EvoDry rainwear products, policy), Nau (all products, policy), and prAna (select products, policy).
- WATERPROOFING PRODUCTS: DetraPel (all products, policy), Green Oil (all products, policy), Nikwax (all products, policy).
- APPAREL: Benetton, Esprit, H&M (all products, policy), J Brand (all products, policy), Theory (all products, policy), UNIQLO (all products, policy), Zara (all products, policy), Mammut (select products, policy), and prAna (select products, policy).
- FURNITURE: Naturepedic (all products, policy), IKEA (all products, policy), HermanMiller (select products, policy), and Healthier Hospitals Furniture List (all products, policy).
For the full list, click here.
Learn more about PFAS…
- PFAS Contamination of Drinking Water Far More Prevalent Than Previously Reported – New Detections of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in New York, D.C., Other Major Cities
- ‘Forever Chemicals’: Teflon, Scotchgard, and the PFAS Contamination Crisis
- China’s Toxic Teflon Problem
Looking for safe, non-toxic products? View our favorite products here!
This post contains affiliate links. Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.