Home / news / To avoid cancer and birth defects .. When should I dispose of non-stick cooking utensils?

To avoid cancer and birth defects .. When should I dispose of non-stick cooking utensils?

It seems that the huge boom in cookware products has made the buying process a complicated task. You need more research to find out which of them does not expose your family members to danger, especially with the spread of warnings about pots with non-stick surfaces “Teflon”, which prompted women to buy safe pots Or, perhaps it is described as healthy and does not cause any harm to family members.

The history of Teflon

Polytetrafluoroethylene, better known as Teflon, is a commercial substance that makes even the most sticky foods slide out of the fryer easily, but what is its nature and where does it come from?

Teflon is a chemical that is made from carbon and fluorine atoms, and surprisingly enough, it was discovered by accident.

In 1938, Roy Plunkett, New Jersey, went to work at the DuPont Chemical Plant and was trying to create a new coolant, or refrigeration chemical. This process required the collection of gas in a special container, but when he began to conduct his experiments, he noticed that the gas was weighing much more than it should be, and by looking at the container he found it covered with a white slippery waxy gel, as this substance was the beginning of a new era in many fields, and I got a company DuPont quickly patented the new chemical.

After 10 years, DuPont was producing 20 million pounds of Teflon every year. But at that time it was not used to cover cooking utensils. Instead, Teflon was used most in the large scale projects producing valves and tubes for the first nuclear weapon.

Additionally, Teflon has been sold commercially to engineers and mechanics and for any item that requires a smooth surface.

In 1954 it was discovered that Teflon could be used in nonstick cookware. French engineer Marc Gruguire was using Teflon as a way to untangle his fishing gear. His wife noticed how smooth the chemical was, and encouraged him to use it in the cooking pots. It was an amazing success, and during the same decade he was selling millions of nonstick cookware, popularly called “Tefal”.

It didn’t take long for other companies to copy Grogwar’s idea, and several brands of Teflon-coated cookware soon appeared, including some products fortified with other materials such as diamond and titanium.

In 1981, researchers discovered the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – which is used to extract Teflon – in the umbilical cord blood of one child and the blood of a second child born to workers at the Teflon plant in Virginia.

Of the seven pregnant workers who were monitored by DuPont, two of them had two babies with birth defects, one of the eyes and tear ducts, and the other of the nose and eyes.

And between the seventies and eighties of the last century, about 7 studies were conducted on the effect of Teflon on children and the elderly, and its relationship to fetal deformation and cancer diseases.

Cleaning some cooking utensils needs special care to avoid exposure to health risks (social media)

Safe alternatives

When it comes to cooking tools, choosing the right ones can cost you more money to ensure your family members are not put at risk, along with the quality and longevity of the product.

Heat Resistant Glassware (Pyrex)

Pyrex cookware is a completely safe option, especially in oven cooking, but it tends to lose heat easily and is not as durable as other types of cookware.

The right brand should be chosen to ensure that it is treated in the correct way that tolerates the temperature difference.

Cast iron utensils

It is one of the most safe options, except that it needs a longer time to heat up, and then it keeps the heat for a longer time, and you need more care in cleaning, as it should not be washed with water to avoid rust, and it can only be cleaned with salt and lemon and wiped with avocado oil when finished to block out moisture and prevent Rust.

Stainless steel utensils (stainless steel)

It is one of the best safe alternatives in cooking, besides being non-toxic, its cookware has durability, quality and rust resistance, and it does not need a long time to heat up, but what may cause some inconvenience during cooking is food sticking to it, which requires adding more From fats and oils to avoid sticking.

Substitutes need special attention

Copper pots

While the copper cookware has a classic look, the copper in these pots will leach your food. Exposure to a lot of copper can become toxic, so you can choose cookware with a copper exterior, just make sure that the surface of the cookware is made of stainless steel.

Make sure the surface of the copper pots is made of stainless steel (Pixabay).

Aluminum utensils

Aluminum is a fairly lightweight metal that transfers heat quickly, is easy to clean, and is inexpensive. However, aluminum deposits can get onto your food when you cook, and you may not even notice this in the taste of your food.

There are some concerns linking Alzheimer’s disease and the use of aluminum cookware, but categorically, the Alzheimer’s Association denied that aluminum causes the disease, while there is little chance that daily cooking in aluminum utensils plays a role in the development of the condition.

And if you use aluminum, oxidized aluminum is the ideal type. The oxidized aluminum cookware is treated with an acidic solution that changes the behavior of the metal, making it easier to clean, and giving it some non-stick properties, and it should not cause aluminum to leak into your food as much. Wrought by ordinary aluminum.

Ceramic utensils

The safety of “ceramic” cookware depends on clay with special grades of processing, which often contains lead, which we know is a dangerous heavy metal.

And if you are not sure your ceramics are lead-free by choosing foolproof brands, then you should avoid buying them.

Safe cleaning

Cookware should be cleaned thoroughly every time to avoid bacteria build-up and reduce the risk of foodborne disease. Still, the “safest” cooking tools in the world are a potential hazard if not cleaned properly.

Some cookware should never be cleaned in a dishwasher like stainless steel utensils, but if you have to use non-stick utensils, they should not be cleaned with sharp metal tools.

Tips to reduce risks

1- Do not store food in the pots or pans you cooked in, unless you are using glass or clay pots.

2- Avoid using metal and solid utensils when using your cooking utensils, and do not underestimate any scratch that shows the metal surface below the Teflon layer.

3- Make sure to clean continuously and in the correct way for each type of utensil.

4- Replace aluminum cookware or non-stick coated Teflon cookware every 2 to 3 years or if holes or scratches occur in the paint.

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