Chemicals in non-stick pans get into drinking water and may cause cancer, report warns
- Microscopic particles in such cookware break off and enter food chains
- PFOA chemicals are also linked to high cholesterol and reduced immunity
- Past research suggests such chemicals appear in one third of food packaging
- Manufacturers argue they extend produce’s shelf life and make food safer
- PFOAs are also found in water-resistant clothing and stain-proof carpets
Chemicals in non-stick pans get into drinking water and may cause cancer, a new report warns.
According to the Washington DC-based Environmental Protection Agency, microscopic particles in chemicals found in non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing and stain-proof carpets break off and enter the food chain.
Previous research suggests such chemicals, known as PFOAs, are linked to cancer, high cholesterol and reduced immune system function.
A past study found PFOAs appear in one third of food packaging, with manufacturers arguing the chemical extends produce’s shelf life and quality, making it safer.
Someone is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes in the UK. The disease affects around 38 percent of people in the US at some point in their lives.
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ARE CHEMICALS IN NON-STICK PANS DANGEROUS?
Chemicals used in non-stick pans have increased tumours in the liver, pancreas and testicles of lab animals, as well as reducing their fertility.
Other possible risks include weight gain, hormonal changes, thyroid disruption, low birth weight and inflammatory bowel disease.
Humans may be exposed to such chemicals, known as PFOAs, when pans are overheated or scratched.
When such pans are thrown away, they may leach chemicals into landfill sites that could enter water and food chains.
Other chemical sources include clothing and carpets.
Yet, many food manufacturers argue PFOAs extend produce’s shelf life and quality, making it safer.
‘These chemicals are persistent. They stay with you’
Washington state representative Joan McBride told PEW: ‘People now realise it doesn’t just matter what you put in your mouth but what that food product is wrapped in.
‘These chemicals are called persistent chemicals. They stay with you, they’re insidious.’
In the US, PFOAs are above recommended levels in up to 33 states.
The chemical is banned from fire-fighting foam in Washington state, with PFAS also being prohibited from use in the region’s fast-food restaurants.
New Jersey has suggested placing limits on the amount of PFOAs permitted in water to 13-to-14 parts per trillion.
PFOAs are widely used in the UK.
More than 90% of receipts contain dangerous chemicals
This comes after research released last January suggested more than 90 percent of receipts contain chemicals linked to infertility, autism and type 2 diabetes.
The so-called ‘gender-bending’ chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) and its ‘healthier alternative’ Bisphenol S (BPS) are added to 93 percent of receipts given out in US stores, with just two percent having no chemical coating at all, according to a study by the Michigan-based non-profit organisation The Ecology Center.
Cashiers and waiting staff, who frequently handle receipts, are particularly vulnerable to the chemicals’ effects, the research adds.
BPA, which reacts with oestrogen and thyroid hormone receptors, has been linked to infertility, autism, ADHD, obesity, type 2 diabetes, premature births and early onset of puberty.
Health fears prompted BPA to be replaced with BPS, however, evidence suggests this disrupts babies’ development in the womb.
BPA and BPS, which are added to receipts to make their writing darker without using ink, are also often found in plastic water bottles and food containers.
The US Food and Drug Administration has banned BPA from baby bottles, while The European Commission prohibits the chemical from being added to receipts from 2020.
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