Are Cooking Coatings Messing With Birthweights and Bodies?

microwave popcorn PFC man face staring
Overexposure by pregnant women to cookware coatings like PFC in microwave popcorn bags may result in underweight newborn babies. Be mindful of the risks when you cook.

We wrote a few articles about the potential dangers of cooking with ceramic coated cookware, and the resulting lawsuit filed by one of these cookware manufacturers against the Israeli TV consumer watchdog program, Kolbotek which warned consumers against using the company’s ceramic cookware products.

With all this in mind, the time has come to find out if any new updates have been published regarding safe brands of ceramic cookware that do not release poisonous metals and chemicals to foods during the cooking process.  Known by the scientific name of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the substance is not only used as a non-stick substance in cookware but also in piping and containers where corrosive chemicals are used. PTFE has a fairly high heat resistance, and has has been found to be fairly reliable for cookware as long as pans containing it are not scratched (resulting in the substance being consumed) and as long excessive cooking heats are not used.

“Fire Sale” of ceramic cookware at Israeli supermarket

Ceramic cookware contains different substances, however; and some brands have been found to contain poisonous metals.

Metal cookware, especially aluminum, coated with substances to make frying easier and with less food sticking to the pan have been in the market for years.

These products began with pans coated with substances that “if consumed in large quantities could be hazardous to human health.”

Health issues related to using non-stick cookware  are still being reported however. A more recent one is an article on Yahoo News dealing with high exposure to  polyflouroalkyl compounds or PFC  by pregnant women resulted in babies born with lower birth weights than women who had not been exposed to these compounds.

The study dealing with these compounds which are also used in other food preparation products (including microwave popcorn bags) also noted that babies born from PFC exposed mothers also were larger at age 20 months, resulting in conditions of being overweight.

The study also concluded that women who were over-exposed to PFC’s during pregnancy more often gave birth to girls who later in life became overweight.

Study researcher Michele Marcus, a professor of epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, recommends the use of stainless steel and iron cookware. She also recommended not warming foods in a microwave using plastic containers.

A complete safe bill of health has still not been found regarding ceramic cookware; although there are some brands that are considered to be safe, as long as excessive cooking heat is not used and a small amount of cooking oil is poured into pan prior to cooking.

The bottom line is to use either ceramic cookware or those coated with PTFE of PFC at your own discretion.

Read more on ceramic and other non-stick cookware:

Ceramic Coated Cooking Ware My be Killing You With Color

Ceramic Cookware Fire Sale After TV Exposure

Ceramic Fry Pan Company Neoflam Sues TV Show for False Report

Image of microwave popcorn bag from Shutterstock

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