Print Friendly and PDF

Chemical Used in Teflon & Non-Stick Cookware Linked to Heart Disease

Elizabeth Renter
September 16th, 2012
Updated 05/20/2013 at 12:55 am
Pin It

nonstickpan 235x147 Chemical Used in Teflon & Non Stick Cookware Linked to Heart Disease

Further presenting non-stick cookware dangers, a new study published in this month’s Archives of Internal Medicine reveals a relation between PFOA (the chemical in Teflon, used in nonstick pans among other things) and heart disease. While scientists are cautious, as they always are, to say they are definitively linked, some say steering clear of the chemical “just in case” wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Cooking up Heart Disease

According to the study published in the journal The Jama Network, researchers looked at PFOA presence and incidence of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. About 98 percent of Americans have traces of PFOA in them, those with the highest levels of the chemical were found to have double the odds of heart disease when compared with those having the lowest levels.

Also, those with higher PFOA, had a 78 percent higher risk of peripheral heart disease—where arteries narrow and harden.

Researchers say there is no hard evidence that the PFOA causes heart diseases or otherwise increases someone’s risk, merely that the conditions “co-exist.”

“What we are finding is that high levels of PFOA and cardiovascular disease coexisted for some reason. That is all,” said lead author Dr. Anoop Shgankar with the West Virginia University School of Public Health. “It is possible that we are seeing something that is just a bystander and is there because of confounding associations.”

But this isn’t the first time perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) has been associated or found co-existing with other health problems. The Environmental Working Group has it classified as a “likely carcinogen,” meaning it could lead to cancer. Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it was likely to cause cancer.

So, if something causes mutations in cells, as in cancer, wouldn’t it make sense that it could lead to a whole host of other health concerns?

Along with the increasingly well-known knowledge that the toxic fumes emitted from non-stick cookware can make a bird drop dead if it’s in the same room, PFOA has also been shown to cause like to low birth weight and organ specific oxidative DNA damage. Other research published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal says those with higher blood levels of PFOA also have a higher incidence of thyroid disease.

But PFOA is still found in some nonstick pans—it’s the coating that allows people to use less oil. And with 98 percent of Americans walking around with PFOA in their bodies, it’s definitely something to be concerned about.

What can you do? If you haven’t already, stop using nonstick pans. Cast iron is a far better choice, and will last a lifetime.

Additional Sources:


From around the web:

  • Tracy

    With this information and just hearing about the arsenic being found in rice, it almost makes you afraid to cook and eat. Here are some good guidelines for healthy cookware though for those of you who might need to replace the toxic teflon versions:

  • warbaby

    To C.A.Bouthillier Thank You.

  • C.A. Bouthillier

    Iron is the cause of cancer, in conjunction with copper deficiency.

    I encourage you to read:

    C.A. Bouthillier


  • Carl B.

    C8 is a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon. C8 contamination has been found in water wells on both sides of the Ohio river for 50 miles near the DuPont plant in Washington, WV. The C8 Science Panel was formed to study health effects of C8 on humans. So far, the panel has linked testicular and kidney cancer, heart disease, and peeclampsia, among other problems.

    This news has not been reported nationally, we are the silent Love Canal.

  • george matthews

    Not many modern things have improved our lives. They can't beat cast iron, stainless, or glass in the kitchen. The tv and computers and microwaves have made us fat. The computers and other technology is so expensive. You pay $2,500 and the next month it is $1,500. They greatest inventions like the cb radio, and short wave radio are great, but cell phones are a pain and everyoen thinks they must have one.

  • Steve W.

    Oh geeze is nothing sacred.

  • Michael Patrick McCa

    Thanks for the info. It's another great example of how it is always "consumers beware" in the marketplace. We can never assume that the companies that produce common goods have our best interests in mind.

  • Grace

    I wonder how many jobs would be created if people stopped buying toxic products just because they are "easy" to use and started shopping only for healthy cookware items?

    • george matthews

      Yes, How many jobs created getting rid and recycling all the plastic containers. How many jobs created because people threw away all their teflon cookware and replaced it with stainless and cast iron. Now we got all this other stuff like stoneware and orgeenic and I'm not buying it.