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Are Your Pots and Pans Harming Your Health?

Pans and health

When you bought your cookware, did you do research first? Probably not. You probably trusted that your store wasn't selling anything dangerous for cooking or that the FDA or other governmental agency would've banned any dangerous cookware products. But researchers have found that some cookware can have bad effects on your health.


Different pots, pans, and other cookware may cause health problems in the long term. Here's what researchers found:

  • Non-stick cookware leeches trace amounts of cancer-causing benzene and harmful compounds from the printed packaging from the cookware's advertising.
  • Stainless steel cookware leeches nickel and chromium into foods the longer you cook with them. Researchers found that ingesting nickel and chromium can lead to dermatitis, like eczema.
  • Iron cookware leeches iron into food, which researchers actually find beneficial because it boosts the iron content of foods cooked in them. They found that iron cookware can boost iron content by about 16 percent. They believe cooking with iron cookware helps lower anemia in developing children.

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Probably all cookware have some associated risk and toxin exposure. Although the non-stick cookware's toxin leech levels were still considered safe – it doesn't change the fact that these toxins are being introduced into your food from the cookware. If you have a glass top stove, it may also change factors. The best medium sized pan for glass top stove include stainless steel and titanium, but titanium may also leech harmful toxins into your food.

According to chef Jack Bishop from America's Test Kitchen, some ways you can limit your toxin exposure from cookware is to replace cookware that have peeling surfaces. Pans, especially, have a short life span – don't skimp out by using your peeling non-stick pan for years when the trade-off is you're introducing more cancer-causing toxins to your body. He also says not to use non-stick cookware in broilers or cook with them at 500 degrees Fahrenheit because it could cause them to release toxic fumes that can cause flu-like symptoms.

Be aware of the risks associated with the cookware you are using or planning to buy. Here is one review of Red Copper Pans and what's on the market these days. Always do research first because you might not realize that what you're using or planning on purchasing may put your health at risk from prolonged use.