Nonstick Cookware, PFOA and Your Cholesterol

Topics: Environmental Health, High Cholesterol, Wellness and Health

With the fear of fat that still dominates Americans’ nutritional interest came the widespread use of nonstick cookware, including panini makers, countertop grills and saute pans.

But a recent Archives of Pediatrics cholesterol report analyzing over 12000 children finds that those with highest levels of PFOA and PFOS–chemicals used in nonstick cookware creation–also have, by far, the highest cholesterol levels.

In 2006, the EPA asked companies including Dupont, which produces Teflon, to stop using PFOA by 2015, and they agreed.

The EWG showed that nonstick “could reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 3-5 minutes.” And high heat–even at pan temps of 464 degrees Fahrenheit– produces toxic gases from nonstick coatings, killing pet birds (really!).

The same PFOA causes cancer in animals.

Cholesterol is one of the best studied markers for heart disease, and in the U.S., statins are often prescribed.

But well-done nutritional and exercise programs have lowered cholesterol without statins, and have been reported in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Too much LDL cholesterol and too little HDL cholesterol is a recipe for heart disease, stroke, erectile dysfunction and early memory loss, and possibly prostate cancer.

There are good nonstick cookware sets available, by Cuisinart and others, without PFOA. And every parent (and grandparent) now has another reason to cook with safe cookware.

  • Sara

    Hi Dr. La Puma– Saw your post about PFOA and cholesterol. If you want to look at some recent research results, we recommend you check out these studies. http://www.c8sciencepanel.org/index.html and http://www.ehponline.org/members/2009/0901165/0901165.pdf .
    These studies observed slight increases in cholesterol, but cannot determine whether the PFOA differences caused the observed shift in cholesterol, or whether there is another explanation. For example, it is possible that people with higher cholesterol simply retain more PFOA.

    The weight of evidence gathered from a number of significant health studies continues to indicate to us that there is no health risk to the general public from exposure to PFOA. http://www.teflon.com/Teflon/teflonissafe and http://www.pfoa.dupont.com can provide you with additional information.