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There are those who do everything to keep away from industrial products, buy organic foods and then maybe cook them in non-stick pans. For the production of non-stick pans perfluoroactanic acid or Pfoa is used, which in the United States, in 2006, was labeled as "probable carcinogen ". If the word of the US Environmental Protection Agency (the American Agency for the Protection of the Environment) were not enough, then we can rely on the research of the more Italian CNR.
In Italy, researchers from the Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers (Ictp) of the National Research Council (Cnr) of Naples, highlighted the health risks associated with the use of non-stick pans and of all materials containing Teflon, in fact, the aforementioned perfluoractanic acid is used for the production of Teflon. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to permanently eliminate the use of non-stick pans by 2015.
Teflon at room temperature is a stable material, none of the chemical compounds contained in Teflon would react with other substances. The problem is that Teflon is not used at room temperature and its stability is lacking when it overheats. Teflon is safe only at temperatures between -200 and +260 degrees centigrade: if one no stick pan remains on the stove for a long time, Teflon can release Pfoa: perfluorooctane acid, a component of recognized toxicity.
Another negative aspect in the use of non-stick pans lies in washing: abrasive sponges should be avoided for cleaning, as these could make Teflon more labile so as to release perfluoroactanic acid more easily. There are many alternatives to non-stick pans, one of this is cast iron! Furthermore, for quick cooking it is more appropriate to use stainless steel, aluminum or cast iron pans.
Together with non-stick pans tin copper pans should also be avoided: tin could liquefy at temperatures around 250 ° and copper exposure is toxic. In short, the Pans that tolerate low temperature cooking are difficult to manage, therefore risky for health and the environment.