Since its introduction into our kitchens in the nineteen sixties, non-stick cookware has become an essential part of most of the kitchens throughout the world. However, recently questions have been raised regarding non-stick cookware safety. These concerns have come to light due to studies that have been carried out on the chemical that is used to bond the non-stick layer to the cooking utensil. Tests carried out on a great number of American citizens have revealed the presence of this chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA.
Further tests carried out on animals have found that this chemical can cause development problems, a reduction in immunity and, in some cases, a lower birth weight. Although these problems have not been proven to have an effect on humans, it has started to raise concerns regarding non-stick cookware safety. A high percentage of Americans have been found to have PFOA in their digestive systems but, to date, there is no evidence connecting this to non-stick cookware.
It has been established that one of the reasons PFOA can be absorbed into the body is through the high temperatures used in cooking. These temperatures can cause the non-stick layer to break down; this process can add to the release of harmful toxic fumes that can cause problems, if inhaled. One of the main reasons for this occurring is when an empty utensil is left on a high flame; this can result in temperatures of over 660 degrees Fahrenheit being reached and the result will be the severe decomposition of the non-stick layer.
To remain within non-stick cookware safety guidelines it is advisable to recognize the correct way to use the utensils. Using and storing non-stick cookware correctly will benefit the user for many years.
Metal kitchen equipment should not be used on non-stick cookware.
Never leave empty cookware on an open flame.
Always cook using temperatures no more than 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Never store cookware stacked one above the other as the non-stick surfaces will become damaged.
If a person has a particular worry over non-stick cookware safety, there are a number of alternatives that could prove to give peace of mind such as cookware made from the following materials: ceramic, enamel coated, stainless steel or cast iron.