Since the invention of these PFAs, it has been clear that the chemical’s ability to withstand liquids and fire makes it ideal for use in coatings to produce non-stick cookware. However, this quick fix had unintended effects that were discovered later. Customers, or more accurately, consumers, would quickly discover cookware coating particles in their meals, raising safety concerns.
When the Environmental Protection Agency ordered eight international manufacturing businesses with US representation to phase out the use of such chemicals in 2006 due to consumers becoming ill from PFAs through particles and fumes, fears would soon be realized.
“A first-of-its kind study found that people exposed to the highest levels of one type of “forever” chemical – found in nonstick cookware, among other products – were 4.5 times more likely to develop liver cancer. The term “forever” chemicals refer to the more than 4,700 available types of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, used widely across manufacturing industries – named as such because the substances degrade very slowly and build up over time, in soil, drinking water and in the body.”
The first study to demonstrate definite associations between PFAs and nonviral hepatocellular carcinoma (the most prevalent type of liver cancer in humans) was one that Jesse Goodrich, a postdoctoral public health researcher at Keck School of Medicine, in the University of Southern California, built upon previous studies.
“Part of the reason there has been few human studies is because you need the right samples,” added Keck School of Medicine professor Veronica Wendy Setiawan. “When you are looking at an environmental exposure, you need samples from well before a diagnosis because it takes time for cancer to develop.”
Researchers were given access to the Multiethnic Cohort Study database, which contains data from a survey of cancer development in more than 200,000 residents of Hawaii and Los Angeles, California, conducted by the University of Hawaii. This survey examined the development of cancer in both populations. “Their search was narrowed to 100 survey participants – 50 of them with liver cancer and 50 without – whose available blood and tissue samples were sufficient for analysis. Researchers were looking for traces of “forever” chemicals present in the body before the group with cancer became ill.”
Most of the participants had or currently have liver cancer, and those who fell in the top 10% of PFOS exposure had a 4.5-fold increased risk of developing liver cancer compared to those who had the least exposure to the chemical.
Even if this substance is present in the bloodstream of 99 percent of Americans, there is yet hope for our country. Instead of adding to the mountain of chemicals already present in our bodies, let’s help the PFAs break down by switching out the cookware that causes more harm than good. PFAs slowly break down over a lengthy period of time. Lustre Craft waterless stainless steel cookware uses the natural oils and moisture from the food you are cooking with and uses little to no water or oil. Additionally, Lustre Craft waterless cookware is comprised of 3 layers of surgical steel, which makes it durable, an excellent heat-distributor, and designed to last a lifetime without introducing chemicals to your food. Passing down lifelong cookware can be the key to eliminating PFA’s from cheap and harmful cookware in future generations.