Why You Should Ditch the Non-Stick
As time goes by and more research is done and made available to the public, we’re learning more and more about toxic chemicals that are readily available to our bodies because they’re in everything we use on an everyday basis. As consumers, knowledge is power. Today, let’s talk about PFAS, what they are, how the affect our bodies, and how we can avoid them in our future.
WHAT ARE PFAS?
PFAS, or poly-fluoroalkyl substances, are a family of thousands of chemicals used to make nonstick coatings for an array of consumer goods. Think your trusted and true non stick pan you use for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and how those eggs come out so perfect when they don’t stick to the pan and you barely used any cooking oil.
Besides being in our cookware, PFAS have also been found in clothing, food packaging, and personal care products. This makes sense because non-stick isn’t just for food. It’s also a water, grease, and stain repellant coating. They also don’t break down so when they spread or rinse off or if we happen to ingest them - they’re there forever.
Since exposure is so widespread, babies are born with detectable levels of PFAS already in their blood. EWG tests showed multiple PFAS compounds in the umbilical cord blood of all 20 babies tested.
HOW DO PFAS EFFECT THE BODY & WHY THE HECK SHOULD WE CARE??
These chemicals, once they are in our bodies and environment, are forever and some have been linked to serious health hazards like increased cholesterol, cancers, and weight gain. On a more serious note they also cause endocrine disruption which can cause a whole slew of problems.
For children, PFAS have been linked to low birth weight and weakened childhood immunity for little ones still developing. A recent review by EWG scientist connected PFAS to reduced effectives of the measles vaccine in children.
HOW TO LIMIT EXPOSURE
The easiest and first switch you should make it to choose stainless steel or cast-iron cookware over nonstick - I use a 10 inch Lodge for most of my cooking.
Filter your water! We should be doing this anyway and many people will say that using a Brita isn’t enough these days but that’s what I’ll be using until I invest in a Berkey (my dream water filter).
Check for PFAS in personal care products — I’ve become obsessed with checking everything on EWG’s Skin Deep search engine.
Use a vacuum or air purifier with a HEPA-filter to remove household dust that could contain PFAS instead of having them just blow around like this one.
The toxins and air quality in our homes can be 2 - 5 times more polluted than our outside environments which is why I’m so passionate about clean and green ingredients. We are what we eat and our bodies absorb everything around us so I will continue to do my best in sharing easy swaps to live a cleaner life.