Cooking is a fun and rewarding activity. You know all your efforts will be rewarded in the end with a nice meal. It’s what happens afterwards that can be frustrating. Washing the pots and pans is a burden if food has dried up and got stuck onto their surfaces. You’ll need to scrub them all off until your arms get tired. It’s no wonder that non-stick varieties became so popular when they were introduced, especially Teflon. They comprise the vast majority of cookware sales because of they are easy to clean and more convenient to use. But are non-stick pots and pans safe to use?
These popular cookware sets suddenly became feared when the results of studies showed that they contained toxic substances that could harm the body. Granted, the amount of toxicity is low so exposure may not be that dangerous to humans. Birds, however, are smaller and more fragile. Some have had adverse reactions with just a bit of exposure to the fumes. It is feared that repeat exposure over the years will trigger a similar effect in people. There is no long-term study that could confirm or deny this theory so the jury is still out there.
According to research, toxicity only becomes an issue if the pans are heated to more than 500-degrees Fahrenheit. Beyond this point, a chemical reaction is triggered to release unwanted substances into the air. Manufacturers agree with this assessment and have made their recommendations accordingly. Yet how realistic is it to keep the temperature below this level? Lab tests show that just a few minutes of heat with the stove set on HIGH is enough for pans to exceed 500 degrees.
With regards to peeling, experts say that it should not be a concern. Swallowing chips accidentally will not cause any harmful effects inside the body. The substance will simply pass through uneventfully and will not be absorbed by the bloodstream. Those who still want to use non-stick pots should take precautions like avoiding high heat and pre-heating while empty to be on the safe side.
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