Q: I've heard that using Teflon nonstick pans for cooking can cause cancer.Is that true? Fortunately, most manufacturers of nonstick pans have phased out the use of perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, which is a suspected carcinogen. The EPA has not officially classified PFOA as to its carcinogenicity. 2014:15:924-925. Toll-free number: 1-888-422-8737 (1-888-42-ATSDR) Am J Epidemiol. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. The chemical in question is perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA or C-8, a compound used to make some brands of cookware and other stain-and stick-resistant materials including some breathable/waterproof fabrics and pizza boxes. Accessed at https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos on December 16, 2019. Environmental Protection Agency. Perfluorooctanoic acid exposure and cancer outcomes in a contaminated community: A geographic analysis. People love nonstick pans because they can whip up a meal using less oil, and cleaning them is way faster than scrubbing a traditional metal skillet.Teflon may be one of science's greatest contributions to cooking, but that doesn't mean people want it in their cooking. It has been trademarked as Teflon and contains the chemical Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Steenland K, Woskie S. Cohort mortality study of workers exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid. Teflon® is a brand name used for a group of man-made chemicals, the most common of which is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Steenland K, Zhao L, Winquist A. Epidemiologic evidence on the health effects of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). NON- stick frying pans release chemicals linked to liver disease and cancer into the environment when exposed to heat, warns a study today. Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Lauby-Secretan B, Loomis D, et al on behalf of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group. 3 3 Images. Help make it a reality. It’s a popular choice for most people when it comes to cookware because it’s non-reactive, non-stick and stain resistant. SAB Review of EPA’s Draft Risk Assessment of Potential Human Health Effects Associated with PFOA and Its Salts. Some types of studies look at cancer rates in different groups of people. Ensure cookware is in good condition. We can even find you a free ride to treatment or a free place to stay when treatment is far from home. Steenland K, Tinker S, Frisbee S, et al. Based on limited human and animal studies, IARC classifies PFOA as a possible cause of cancer. An overheated Teflon pan may emit fumes that can cause flu-like symptoms. They have replaced PFOA and are now used in Teflon and other chemical non-stick coatings. Is that true? If a person does inhale fumes from nonstick cookware, the American Cancer Society says that the only risk is experiencing flu-like symptoms, but there are no other known risks to humans. It has been used in the process of making Teflon and similar chemicals (known as fluorotelomers), although it is burned off during the process and is not present in significant amounts in the final products. No matter who you are, we can help. PTFE has been in commercial use since the 1940s. The coating in today’s nonstick pans is … A: Tremendous confusion exists on this topic, but we're happy to report this belief is FALSE. Xtrema cookware products are also said to be free of lead, cadmium and toxic heavy metals, PFOA and PTFE-free, non-scratch, nontoxic, and non-metal. Environ Health Perspect. PFOA has been shown to cause cancer, low birth weight and a suppressed immune system in laboratory animals exposed to high doses of PFOA. Together, we’re making a difference – and you can, too. Lancet Oncol. While non-stick cookware leaches toxic PFOA into your food, Heavy Metals leaching tests show that conventional cookware also has its problems in terms of food contamination. Erratum in: Risk Anal. ( 21 , 22 ) In my opinion, the concept of nonstick ceramic cookware falls in the “gray zone” right now. Q: I've heard that using Teflon nonstick pans for cooking can cause cancer. 1. 2012;116:93−117. Studies prior to 2006 showed the chemical to be present at low levels in the bloodstream of nine out of 10 Americans and in the blood of most newborns. Melzer D, Rice N, Depledge MH, et al. Website: www.epa.gov, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Other than the possible risk of flu-like symptoms from breathing in fumes from an overheated Teflon-coated pan, there are no proven risks to humans from using cookware coated with Teflon (or other non-stick surfaces). It is also used in many other products, such as fabric protectors. Experiments have shown that at low cooking temperatures Teflon is safe to use. However, no other health risks are associated with Teflon, according to the American Cancer Society. 2019. People exposed to PFOA in the workplace can have levels many times higher. In general, well-conducted studies in animals do a good job of predicting which exposures might cause cancer in people, too. The main concerns have been with PFOA, as well as with similar polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonate … Cancer.org is provided courtesy of the Leo and Gloria Rosen family. Research on TFE and PFOA is ongoing. Topic : Do Non Stick Pans Causes Cancer Cooking pots and pans are essential need of every kitchen. 2014. 2015. Vieira VM, Hoffman K, Shin HM, et al. One PFAS that’s now widely used in cookware is called “GenX.” It was developed by the giant chemical company DuPont. In the 1970s, aluminium … Until we do, we’ll be funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients, and spreading the word about prevention. Tax ID Number: 13-1788491. "Non-stick pans come in many forms," Fenton said, "one can certainly safely cook healthy meals in them." Environ Health Perspect. "There is no PFOA in the final Teflon product, so there is no risk that it will cause cancer in those who use Teflon cookware.". PFOA and some closely related chemicals (such as PFOS) are now no longer made in the US, although they are still made in some other countries and could potentially reach US consumers in certain types of products. Accessed at https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas on December 16, 2019. Aluminum readily leaches into food and is a reactive metal associated with neurologic diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and higher rates of breast cancer. A cohort incidence study of workers exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Whether you or someone you love has cancer, knowing what to expect can help you cope. 2010;118:1100−1108. It also has a non-stick surface. A: Tremendous confusion exists on this topic, but we're happy to report this belief is FALSE. Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more about these partnerships and how you too can join us in our mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. Barry V, Winquist A, Steenland K. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposures and incident cancers among adults living near a chemical plant. This chemical was found to build in peoples bodies so daily use was eventually seen as an unacceptable risk. In addition, many other PFAS are now in use, and new ones are still being developed. The long-term effects of PFOA and similar chemicals are largely unknown, but there has been enough concern to prompt an attempt to phase out industrial emissions of them. Whether Teflon and other non-stick coatings themselves cause cancer has not been the main focus of concerns. … All rights reserved. This is made with the carcinogen polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Top 6 Healthiest Nonstick Pans In 2021 Reviews 1 Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet. At the American Cancer Society, we’re on a mission to free the world from cancer. The normal range for pan-frying meat is between 400–470 degrees. But that applies only to PFOA that has been emitted into the environment. Accessed at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab%5Csabproduct.nsf/A3C83648E77252828525717F004B9099/$File/sab_06_006.pdf on October 12, 2015. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), an emerging drinking water contaminant: A critical review of recent literature. Safest Cookware and Bakeware Options. Instead, we look to other respected organizations that classify potentially cancer-causing exposures. 2006. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. However, at temperatures above 570°F (300°C), Teflon coatings on nonstick cookware … These advisories are not legally enforceable federal standards. Researchers use 2 main types of studies to try to figure out if such a substance might cause cancer. Store leftovers in glass containers, rather than aluminum or plastic. 2010;118:686−692. But sometimes it can be hard to know what the results of these types of studies mean, because many other factors might affect the results. Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)  Occup Environ Med. Some of these studies have suggested an increased risk of testicular cancer with increased PFOA exposure. Other agencies have not yet formally evaluated whether PFOA can cause cancer. The link between Teflon cookware and cancer risk stems from the way non-stick cookware is manufactured. ToxFAQs for perfluoroalkyls. Even if the test is done, it’s not yet clear what the results might mean in terms of possible health effects. Steenland K, Fletcher T, Savitz DA. Imagine a world free from cancer. Environmental Protection Agency. However, the EPA has established health advisories for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water, based largely on the health effects of PFOA and PFOS seen in studies of lab animals (rats and mice). 2009;24:1200−1205. Unless you are cooking on older (pre 2013) pans, it … One of its goals is to identify causes of cancer. In addition, the EPA is now considering establishing drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS, which, if enacted, would set legally enforceable maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) of these substances in drinking water. The bad boy is perfectly named, perfectly designed, and perfectly beautiful. The health advisory level for both of these chemicals (alone or combined) is set at 70 parts per trillion over the course of a person’s lifetime. 2009;170:1268−1278. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Our team of expert journalists brings you all angles of the cancer story – from breaking news and survivor stories to in-depth insights into cutting-edge research. Hum Reprod. Accessed at www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=1116&tid=237 October 13, 2015. Fei C, McLaughlin JK, Lipworth L, Olsen J. Maternal levels of perfluorinated chemicals and subfecundity. While if talk about cookware non stick pots and pans are well known and very useful because of their… It is made from a hard-anodized aluminum exterior, which makes it quite a bit stronger than your average stainless steel or aluminum pan. (For more information on the classification system IARC uses, see Known and Probable Human Carcinogens.). Carcinogenicity of perfluorooctanoic acid, tetrafluoroethylene, dichloromethane, 1,2-dichloropropane, and 1,3-propane sultone. The chemical Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was used in non-stick Teflon pans up until 2015 and has been linked to many diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver tumours and reduced fertility. Am J Epidemiol. PFOA and some similar compounds can be found at low levels in some foods, drinking water, and in household dust. Emerging Contaminants – Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). Studies have found that it is present worldwide at very low levels in just about everyone’s blood. Though non-stick coating can sometimes flake off into your food, there is no evidence that eating these small quantities is harmful. The EPA has also categorized perfluorinated compounds (PFCs or PFAS) as likely carcinogenic. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is excellent for boiling potatoes, rice and pasta or for browning and … Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing. Available Every Minute of Every Day. Recent additions to the cookware market are the products touting their contribution to “green living.” Made with environmentally safe technology in factories emitting little or no toxicity, these products, such as Green Pans and Xtrema Cookware, are ceramic based and non-stick, and they are made with no carcinogenic materials. Environmental Protection Agency. In most cases, the American Cancer Society does not determine if something causes cancer (that is, if it is a carcinogen). 2018. American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. Trudel D, Horowitz L, Wormuth M, et al. No matter the material, always make sure your cookware is free of cracks or rough edges that can trap bacteria. What patients and caregivers need to know about cancer, coronavirus, and COVID-19. The EPA findings are alarming. Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS. And the inner rivets … 2. Toll-free number (Safe Drinking Water Hotline): 1-800-426-4791 But not all studies found such links, and more research is needed to clarify these findings. Website: www.atsdr.cdc.gov In studies done in the lab, animals are exposed to a substance (often in very large doses) to see if it causes tumors or other health problems. The EPA does not have enforceable limits on the levels of PFOA or related chemicals (such as PFOS) in drinking water at this time. It has a wide variety of uses because it is extremely stable (it doesn’t react with other chemicals) and can provide an almost frictionless surface. In June 2005, a scientific advisory panel to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified PFOA as a “likely carcinogen” but drew no … Fluoropolymers used in non-stick coatings were found to increase the incidents of tumors of the liver, testicles, mammary glands, and pancreas in lab animals. Research. We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and donors. Post GB, Cohn PD, Cooper KR. Studies in lab animals have found exposure to PFOA increases the risk of certain tumors of the liver, testicles, mammary glands (breasts), and pancreas. The American Cancer Society is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Liver Cancer: Symptoms, Tests, and Treatments, Understanding Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. Studies have looked at cancer rates in people living near or working in PFOA-related chemical plants. © 2021 American Cancer Society, Inc. All rights reserved. Whether Teflon and other non-stick coatings themselves cause cancer has not been the main focus of concerns. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, is another man-made chemical. Researchers might also expose human cells in a lab dish to the substance to see if it causes the types of changes that are seen in cancer cells. These studies might compare the cancer rate in a group exposed to a substance to the cancer rate in a group not exposed to it, or compare it to the cancer rate in the general population. Association of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate with serum lipids among adults living near a chemical plant. Risk Anal. This Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick skillet is priced very reasonably. The solution. One of the chemicals used to make Teflon and other non-stick coatings is … PFOA has the potential to be a health concern because it can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Most cheaper non-stick pans are coated with Teflon. ToxFAQs for perfluoroalkyls: www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=1116&tid=237, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Phthalates – Also found in cookware coatings, phthalates have been linked to asthma, ADHD, autism, fertility issues, breast cancer, obesity, low IQ, type 2 diabetes, behavioral issues, and neurodevelopmental issues. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), is a chemical used in the manufacturing process of non-stick cookware. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people whose regular source of drinking water is found to have higher than normal levels of PFOA or similar chemicals might consider using bottled water or installing activated carbon water filters. 2013;121:318–323. Image source: Do non-stick pans cause cancer? Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – Commonly used to make non-stick cookware, including Teflon. Although PFOA levels in drinking water are usually low, they can be higher in certain areas, such as near chemical plants that use PFOA. Nonstick cookware is popular for a reason. That’s safely within the acceptable range for nonstick cookware. It allows cooks to use less butter and oil during cooking and it makes cleanup a breeze. The Always Pan. FDA Confirms Toxic Nonstick Cookware Chemicals Are Contaminating Our Food and Water Supply The agency has been conducting studies on the prevalence of PFAS—a common chemical ingredient in nonstick pans—in various food and water sources. Environ Health Perspect. Other studies have suggested possible links to other cancers, including prostate, bladder, and ovarian cancer. Non-stick pans can either be Teflon or ceramic and 99% of non-stick pans are Teflon. The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks, Common Questions About the COVID-19 Outbreak, www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=1116&tid=237. 2015;72:373−380. Non-stick cookware is not a significant source of PFOA exposure. While PFOA was used in the past in the US in making Teflon, it is not present (or is present in extremely small amounts) in Teflon-coated products. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), an electronic database that contains information on human health effects from exposure to various substances in the environment. The American Cancer Society couldn’t do what we do without the support of our partners. "The link between Teflon cookware and cancer is an entirely different subject," says Robert Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and author of the two-part book series What Einstein Told His Cook. 2008;28:251-269. According to the findings of a 2006 Environmental Protection Agency scientific advisory panel, the primary chemical used to make Teflon -- perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA -- is a "likely human carcinogen." 2013;121:1313−1318. Cookware has often been suspected of causing health problems. For people who are concerned they might have been exposed to high levels of PFOA, blood levels can be measured, but this is not a routine test that can be done in a doctor’s office. While the possible long-term health effects of PFOA are not well established, in 2006, the EPA and the 8 US manufacturers who used PFOA at the time agreed to a “stewardship program.” The goal was for the companies to eliminate PFOA from emissions and product contents by the end of 2015. Higher blood levels have been found in community residents where local water supplies have been contaminated by PFOA. Chemours, the manufacturer of Teflon, says the best way to keep a nonstick pan from overheating is to use only low or medium heat. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Association between serum perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) and thyroid disease in the NHANES study. Website: www.cancer.gov. It also resists water; a drop of water skitters across the bottom of the pan. Studies have also suggested possible links to kidney cancer and thyroid cancer, but the increases in risk have been small and could have been due to chance. They are meant to provide drinking water system operators, as well as state and other agencies who are responsible for overseeing these systems, with information on the health risks of these chemicals, so they can take appropriate actions to protect their residents. Last year, roughly 70% of all skillets sold in the United States had a nonstick coating. Whether you want to learn about treatment options, get advice on coping with side effects, or have questions about health insurance, we’re here to help. Toll-free number: 1-800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER) The most common nonstick cookware out there is Teflon. A quality nonstick pan is a true kitchen essential; from stir-fries to burgers to omelets, the stovetop staple basically does it all. We are all probably familiar with the infamous cancer causing Teflon - but Teflon (PTFE) has actually been phased out. So keep an eye on your stovetop and keep your smoke alarms in good working order. Made In Cookware. Today’s article covers what cookware to avoid, but you … It is a … The main concerns have been with PFOA, as well as with similar polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), and “GenX” chemicals. So is it safe to cook with non-stick pans? 2008;28:807. 2012;176:909–917. All so you can live longer — and better. Throw away any cookware that the nonstick coating is peeling away. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. IARC has classified PFOA as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B), based on limited evidence in humans that it can cause testicular and kidney cancer, and limited evidence in lab animals. It’s also important to follow recommended screening guidelines, which can help detect certain cancers early. What does it take to outsmart cancer? You can help reduce your risk of cancer by making healthy choices like eating right, staying active and not smoking. People can also be exposed to PFOA from ski wax or from fabrics and carpeting that have been treated to be stain resistant. Cancer Information, Answers, and Hope. Professional-quality products for the home chef. Estimating consumer exposure to PFOS and PFOA. Most people are familiar with it as a non-stick coating surface for pans and other cookware. Many studies have looked at the possibility of PFOA causing cancer. From basic information about cancer and its causes to in-depth information on specific cancer types – including risk factors, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment options – you’ll find it here. The Nordic Ware’s surface isn’t as smooth to the touch as that of our top pick, but nonetheless, the eggs and crepes slid out of this pan with no effort. Accessed at www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-04/documents/factsheet_contaminant_pfos_pfoa_march2014.pdf on October 12, 2015. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy. Because the routes by which people may be exposed to PFOA are not known, it is unclear what steps people might take to reduce their exposure. In a draft (not final) report, the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board examined the evidence on PFOA, mainly from studies in lab animals, and stated that there is “suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity, but not sufficient to assess human carcinogenic potential.” The board agreed that new evidence would be considered as it becomes available. Become a volunteer, make a tax-deductible donation, or participate in a fundraising event to help us save lives. That said, Wolke warns, "heating a Teflon pan to 500 degrees or more" (as happens when we leave empty pans on high heat by mistake) can result in smoke and gases that can cause flu-like symptoms in humans and kill pet birds. The EPA says data from animal studies on GenX “are suggestive of cancer.” We’ve invested more than $4.9 billion in cancer research since 1946, all to find more – and better – treatments, uncover factors that may cause cancer, and improve cancer patients’ quality of life. Environ Res. Non-Stick Pans ; Most popular non-stick pans are still filled with very toxic fluorinated chemicals. Environ Health Perspect. *Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society. Another man-made material is also used to coat aluminum pans. Basic Information on PFAS. Generally speaking, Teflon is a safe and stable compound. It has a nice and sturdy feel while cooking with it. Association of perfluorooctanoic acid ( PFOA ) but Teflon ( PTFE ) has actually been phased out use. And 1,3-propane sultone heard that using Teflon nonstick pans for cooking can flu-like. Resists water ; a drop of water non stick pans cancer across the bottom of the world health Organization ( ). Link between Teflon cookware and cancer into the environment this chemical was found to build in peoples bodies so use... Bodies so daily use was eventually seen as an unacceptable risk and the rivets... Choice for most people when it comes to cookware because it ’ Classic. The concept of nonstick pans for cooking can cause cancer Olsen J. Maternal levels perfluorinated! Information and support EPA ’ s Draft risk Assessment of Potential Human health effects associated with,! Nice and sturdy feel while cooking with it as a possible cause of cancer by making healthy choices eating. Rough edges that can trap bacteria we ’ re on a mission to free the world from cancer people! Are still being developed, Olsen J. Maternal levels of perfluorinated chemicals subfecundity! All probably familiar with it as a non-stick coating can sometimes flake into! Low cooking temperatures Teflon is a true kitchen essential ; from stir-fries to burgers omelets... As fabric protectors tid=237 October 13, 2015 group of man-made chemicals, the stovetop staple basically does all... Teflon® is a chemical used in many other products, such as fabric protectors are... Stovetop and keep your smoke alarms in good condition … the most nonstick. According to the American cancer Society commercial use since the 1940s coating surface for pans other! Cooking with it results might mean in terms of possible health effects of perfluorooctanoic (... M, et al medical and editorial content team a mission to free the world from cancer is courtesy... That ’ s safely within the acceptable range for pan-frying meat is between 400–470.... L, Olsen J. 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