What to do if you're concerned about perfluorochemicals (PFOA, PTFE)used to make nonstick coatings? Especially in light of recent human studies showing possible links to infertility in women and ADHD (attention deficity hyperactivity disorder) in adolescents ,If you're in the market for a new pan, I recommend the uncoated or alternative nonstick products below, excerpted from my book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices.
Cuisinart Green Gourmet
Le Creuset enamel (coated cast-iron for stovetop/ oven, and glazed clay for oven only)
Lodge traditional uncoated cast iron, once conditioned with oil, is quite nonstick; Lodge also makes enamel cast iron.
Martha Stewart enamel cookware
Mario Batali enamel cast iron at Crate & Barrel
Other safe, sound choices
Stainless steel (nonreactive, though not nonstick!)
Calphalon-type anodized aluminum, so long as it's not covered with nonstick Teflon-type coatings.
For Baking, not stovetop:
Silicone, popular with many bakers, has not been shown to leach toxic chemicals, but it also hasn't been studied much in that regard. In the meantime, I personally find its softness can lead to spills of batter, and I'm leery of heating any plastic, period. Better than PTFE nonstick coatings? Based on what we know so far, yes!
If you’d rather not buy new:
Use what you’ve got with care. If your Teflon pans are unscratched and unscorched, there’s no reason to toss them. Continue to use and preserve them carefully with non-scratching wood, silicone or, yes, Teflon/Silverstone-type utensils. Never use them on high heat, above 500 degrees F. Never heat them when empty.
Look for indestructible cast-iron and uncoated stainless steel pots and pans at yard sales, flea markets, and secondhand stores.
For more info, see EWG's report on Teflon/Silverstone-type chemicals, and this previous GreenerPenny blog & helpful reader comments.
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