What are the dangers of typical non-stick pots and pans and what are the very best non-toxic cookware options? Madeleine of The Wise Consumer breaks down what that you must know beneath!

What kind of cookware are you utilizing to prepare dinner your meals? Fact be instructed, again within the day, I just about solely used non-stick pots and pans. They only made cooking a lot extra handy — bye-bye caught meals and messy pans!

Sadly, what I got here to be taught was that my handy non-stick pans had been coated with a fabric referred to as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), extra generally often known as Teflon, a kind of polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), that was most probably emitting poisonous fumes and leaching into my meals when cooked at excessive temperatures. 

So, it acquired me questioning, what precisely are these chemical compounds in non-stick cookware and are there safer non-toxic cookware options available on the market at this time? Let’s discover.

We’ll begin with the options, and if you happen to’d love to do a deep dive into the poisonous chemical compounds in typical non-stick cookware, scroll down beneath!

The Finest Non-Poisonous Cookware Supplies and Manufacturers

Whereas there are numerous choices available on the market labeled as protected non-stick pans and different cookware, the Environmental Working Group suggests utilizing forged iron, chrome steel, and oven-safe glass. It is because “producers shouldn’t have to launch their security information to the general public” the EWG shares. There are additionally some ceramic manufacturers with non-toxic cookware.

This information options associates and companions. As all the time, we solely function manufacturers that meet excessive requirements for sustainability that we love — and that we expect you’ll love too!

Solid Iron

Execs: Forged iron pans have been round for generations. They’re sturdy, preserve warmth exceptionally effectively, are toxic-free, and, when seasoned appropriately, are nearly nearly as good as non-stick. As soon as you purchase a top quality forged iron pan (and look after it effectively), it’d simply final you a lifetime!

Cons: The problem with these age-old skillets is that they’re heavier, not all the time straightforward to wash, and can leach iron into your food. If you happen to’re low in iron, leaching iron into meals is definitely a great way of acquiring pure iron. Nevertheless, if you happen to undergo from an excessive amount of iron (hemochromatosis), you might need to keep away from cooking with forged iron.  

Professional Tip: keep away from cooking excessive acidic meals, equivalent to tomato sauce, in forged iron skillets.

Solid Iron Non-Poisonous Cookware Manufacturers

Field Company

The Area Firm is a non-toxic cookware model that was began by two brothers, Stephen and Chris Muscarella, who had been on a mission to develop smoother, lighter forged iron skillets paying homage to classic pans. The corporate additionally supplies useful tips about how one can look after and lengthen the lifetime of your forged iron. Merchandise vary from forged iron skillets to dutch covens

Check Out Field Company


This Portland, Oregon, forged iron firm is devoted to crafting non-toxic cookware that may stand the take a look at of time. Finex forged iron skillets are polished, tumbled, pre-seasoned, and assembled fully by hand.  One distinctive facet of this model I personally like is their chrome steel ergonomic handles which permit the handles to remain cooler longer, i.e., no want for mitts when frying an egg. 

Merchandise vary from skillets to grill pans. 

Check out Finex on Made Trade

Vegetables in non-toxic iron skillet from Finex

Lodge Cast Iron

Lodge Solid Iron is without doubt one of the oldest cast-iron corporations in america, making forged iron merchandise since 1896. This model can also be eco-conscious, taking efforts to cut back power consumption and stop waste from landfill by means of their company-wide recycling program. They’re additionally a member of the Tennessee Inexperienced Star Partnership.

Merchandise vary from seasoned forged iron skillets to forged iron bakeware. 

Check Out Lodge Cast Iron

Food in eco-friendly frying pan from Lodge Cast Iron

Stainless Metal

Execs: Stainless-steel is scratch-resistant, non-toxic, long-lasting, and intensely sturdy. 

Cons: The draw back to chrome steel is that it’s not non-stick so requires a bit of additional oil to keep away from meals sticking within the pan. Additionally, in case your chrome steel cookware begins to corrode, it’s greatest to exchange it or keep away from cooking with it. You’ll be able to learn extra in regards to the professionals and cons of chrome steel here.

Professional Tip: When buying chrome steel, ensure you’re shopping for food-grade chrome steel as this kind tends to include much less nickel and/or chromium, which have the potential to leach into meals. You probably have a sensitivity to nickel you must keep away from cooking with chrome steel.  

Our Non-Poisonous Stainless Metal Cookware Choose

360 Cookware

This chrome steel cookware model is manufactured in a Inexperienced E-Licensed manufacturing facility in Wisconsin (acknowledged by the EPA) and made utilizing solely the very best high quality chrome steel. Additionally, they’ve developed a novel vapor technique to assist prepare dinner higher, more healthy, extra dietary meals. Learn extra about it here

Merchandise vary from frying pants and stockpots to giant cookie sheets. 

Check Out 360 Cookware

Soup in plates and stainless steel stockpot from 360 Cookware


Execs: Ceramic is a good different to traditional non-stick cookware because it too is non-stick, straightforward to wash, and cooks meals simply. 

Cons: The draw back is that ceramic cookware is greatest used solely at low or medium warmth, overheating can wear away the non-stick coating. And much like typical non-stick pans, non-stick ceramic are usually not steel utensil protected (greatest to stay with picket utensils when cooking).

Professional Tip: When buying ceramic cookware, it’s best to search out manufacturers which are manufactured from 100% pure ceramic, equivalent to Xtrema, or which are made utilizing non-stick coating freed from lead, cadmium, PTFE (Teflon), PFOA, Gen X,  and different dangerous chemical compounds, equivalent to Caraway.

Be certain that the model is clear about supplies used for non-stick ceramic coating as not all non-stick ceramic coating is protected.

Non-Poisonous Ceramic Cookware Manufacturers


This non-toxic ceramic cookware model makes use of a high-quality mineral-based coating that is freed from toxins, lead, cadmium, PTFE (Teflon) and PFOA. As well as, all merchandise are ethically manufactured and packaged in recycled cardboard with zero plastic baggage. 

Merchandise vary from frying pans to dutch ovens and are available in numerous enjoyable colours. 

Check Out Caraway

Use code CONSCIOUSSTYLE10 for 10% off your order at Caraway

stack of colorful non-toxic cookware from Caraway


Xtrema’s non-toxic cookware is made out of 100% pure ceramic. Their cookware is FDA-approved and meets California Prop 65 requirements, certifying that it is freed from greater than 800 compounds that will trigger most cancers, delivery defects, or reproductive hurt. 

Merchandise vary from skillets and saucepans to dutch ovens. 

Check Out Xtrema

Ceramic pans from Xtrema

Emile Henry

Made in France since 1850, all Emile Henry merchandise are manufactured from Burgundy clay and different pure non-clay merchandise. In response to their web site: “The entire uncooked supplies are food-safe and meet probably the most stringent food-use laws, together with CA Prop 65.” 

Merchandise vary from soup pots to tagines to pie dishes. 

Check Out Emile Henry

Pie in non-toxic dishes from Emile Henry


Execs: Glass is one other protected non-stick coated cookware different because it doesn’t launch chemical compounds, doesn’t maintain on or soak up flavors, and is simple to wash (dishwasher protected). 

Cons: It’s not non-stick, so be sure to make use of loads of oil when cooking. And, after all, if not cared for correctly glass can simply break. 

Professional Tip: search for oven-safe glass!

The place to search out glass non-toxic cookware? Many manufacturers could have cookware or bakeware made out of glass!

Extra Concerns For Non-Poisonous Cookware

Earlier than buying non-stick cookware, examine to see if the model has been licensed by a 3rd get together and/or is clear about supplies used. If you happen to’re unsure, you may all the time attain out to the model and ask them on to share extra data. 

If you happen to personal non-stick cookware and aren’t able to exchange with non-toxic pots and pans, listed here are just a few suggestions that EWG and Healthline share that will help you scale back your publicity to Teflon:

  1. By no means warmth an empty pan, particularly at excessive warmth
  2. Don’t put the pan in an oven hotter than 500 levels Fahrenheit (260 Celsius)
  3. Use an exhaust fan over the range.
  4. Don’t use steel utensils. Slightly, use picket utensils as these are much less prone to scratch the floor of your cookware. 
  5. Gently handwash the cookware with a sponge and soapy water. 

The Poisonous Chemical substances in Non-Stick Cookware

When the non-stick cookware first entered our kitchens, they had been all the fad. And it was not shocking. On account of its frictionless floor, it made cooking so handy — much less messy and simpler to wash. 

On the time, the general public didn’t know the well being issues this non-stick, man-made coating materials often known as Teflon had on individuals uncovered to it or our surroundings. 

What Are PFAS?

PFAS is brief for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of man-made chemicals that embody PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and lots of different chemical compounds. 

These chemical compounds report the EPA, “are very persistent within the atmosphere and within the human physique – which means they don’t break down and so they can accumulate over time.” 

In truth, due to their incapacity to interrupt down, PFAS are also known as “Ceaselessly Chemical substances.” 

Two of probably the most generally produced and studied PFAS are Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), each of that are stable chemicals composed of chains of eight carbons (often known as long-chain PFAS, or C8) which have a novel functionality to repel oil and water. 

Till lately, PFOA was used within the process of making Teflon and different related chemical compounds whereas PFOS, an artificial chemical used to make merchandise immune to stains, grease, soil, and water was utilized in merchandise equivalent to 3M’s Scotchgard stain-repellent merchandise. (Word: In early 2000, 3M announced It will now not use PFOs of their Scotchgard stain-repellent merchandise.)

The place are PFAS discovered?

“Perfluoroalkyls (PFAS) can enter your physique if you happen to breathe air, eat meals, or drink water containing them,” shares the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 

Mostly, PFAS are found in merchandise equivalent to:

  • Non-stick pans (Teflon)
  • Meals packaging (e.g., microwave popcorn baggage, pizza containers)
  • Waterproof/stain repellent merchandise (like in jackets and carpets)
  • And even in personal care products equivalent to shampoo, hairspray, mascara, and nail polish

Moreover, PFAS have additionally been discovered in drinking water close to services which have made or used these substances equivalent to navy installations, wastewater treatment plants, firefighter training facilities, and extra. 

PFAS have even been present in distant areas such because the Arctic and the open ocean, in accordance with the CDC.

Are PFAS dangerous?

Publicity to PFOA and PFOS has been linked to quite a few regarding well being circumstances. 

As reported by the EPA, these circumstances embody:

  • Developmental results to fetuses throughout being pregnant or to breastfed infants
  • Most cancers
  • Liver results
  • Immune results
  • Thyroid results, and different results

Unsurprisingly, these most weak to those well being issues are these working within the factories producing PFAS or dwelling close to these chemical manufacturing services. 

What’s extra, recent studies have found that practically all people in america, “have been uncovered to PFAS and have PFAS of their blood, particularly PFOS and PFOA.” 

[Note: If you haven’t already, check out Dark Waters, a film based on the true story of Rob Bilott, a corporate lawyer who in 2001 took on an environmental lawsuit against the DuPont chemical company for having knowingly contaminated the drinking water in the Ohio River Valley. You can read more about it in this New York Times article, The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare.]

Though chemical compounds equivalent to PFOA and PFOS have been largely phased out in america due partially to the PFOA Stewardship Program, they’re nonetheless persistent in our surroundings and nonetheless being produced and manufactured in other countries

What About “Safer” Substitutes for PFOA?

It’s but to be decided whether or not short-chain PFAS, equivalent to GenX, DuPont’s substitute for PFOA, are safer than their long-chain legacy counterparts. 

In response to The Intercept, these new PFAS compounds really “present many of the same threats associated with longer-chain molecules.” 

From what I’ve gathered, most specialists extremely advocate that we attempt our greatest to keep away from these “safer” substitutes. 

How Can You Keep away from PFAS?

Whereas it’s fairly exhausting to fully keep away from PFAS there are some things you are able to do to assist scale back your publicity to those chemical compounds. 

  • Test your ingesting water (you should utilize EWG’s Tap Water Database)
  • Keep away from fast-food packaging
  • Restrict your publicity to waterproof textiles
  • Go for non-toxic cookware options equivalent to chrome steel, glass, ceramic, and forged iron if potential (take a look at the manufacturers shared above!)

In regards to the Writer

Madeleine Wisecup - Writer for Conscious Life & Style

Madeleine is a Franco-American podcaster and blogger on a mission to encourage and empower girls to reside more healthy, extra eco-friendly, and acutely aware life. On her weblog/podcast, The Wise Consumer, she covers matters starting from diet and recipes to moral trend and eco dwelling suggestions. When not working Madeleine is both spending time with household, creating new recipes, or operating trails.

Observe Madeleine and the Sensible Client:

Web site: TheWiseConsumer.com | Podcast: The Wise Consumer Podcast

@TheWiseConsumer on Instagram | The Wise Consumer on Facebook

Disclaimer: The recommendation given on this put up is solely that — recommendation. These are usually not medical suggestions. Please seek the advice of your doctor or one other medical skilled for particular ideas associated to your private well being.

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