Nonstick cookware has been in use in millions of households around the world for decades and decades. They have been choice of consumers as it saves time and effort to cook and clean the dishes. Do you know the non stick cookwares that you use in your kitchen can be harmful for your children? A study was published in the 2010 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine revealed that chemical substances used in non-stick cookware and bakeware, may increase total and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in children and teens.
About the study
Stephanie J. Frisbee, M.Sc., M.A., of West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, and colleagues studied 12,476 children and teens at an average for 11years who participated in the C8 Health project, which resulted from the settlement of a lawsuit regarding a water supply contaminated with the same chemicals used on non-stick pans. Researchers analyzed blood samples of participants and found that it is contaminated with the chemicals used to make Teflon, a coating of non stick cookwares.
Fluoropolymers or Teflon is made of Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFOA and PFOS), which are used in non-stick cookware and breathable, waterproof properties to fabrics and upholstery. The acids give non-stick pans heat and water resistance.
Revelation of the study
Blood tests from the children showed that
- Children and teens had much higher levels of PFOA than expected
- The levels of chemicals were 69.2 nanograms per millilitre compared to the 3.9ng/ml national average
- Higher PFOA levels were associated with increased total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
- One-fifth of children and teenagers with highest PFOA levels had total cholesterol levels 4.6 milligrams per decilitre and LDL cholesterol levels 3.8mg/dl higher than the children with the lowest PFOA levels.
Liver is the organ of the body which is responsible for making cholesterol and processing fat that...
comes from the consumed food. According to the experts, the risk with PFOA is its travel to the liver after getting into the body.
Some health experts told that it was too early to say children participated in the study would be at increased risk of heart disease.
Cathy Ross, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation said that “This study was carried out in a specific area in the USA where the levels of these substances were excessively high due to contaminated water.
This is not a first time when Teflon coating found to be hazardous for humans in general. There have been a large number of reports in print and broadcast media implying that the use of nonstick cookware can expose consumers to PFOA and, therefore, may somehow be harmful to one’s health. Government agencies responsible for public health and food safety in the U.S, such as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reviewed the risk of Teflon coating on humans and concluded that there is negligible, or minimal, potential for human exposure to PFOA from nonstick cookware.
However, I would say more research is needed to clarify whether the small quantities of PFOA can affect the cholesterol levels in children. Recent studies reported increase in the risk of heart diseases in children and it was recommended that children should go for diagnosis on regular basis. Does this study suggest that non-stick cookware could contribute or add to the increased risk of heart diseases in children?