How A Crock-Pot Can Really Kill You
One of the biggest moments of the 'This Is Us' series happened this week when viewers discovered how one of the main characters may have died. Can a Crock-Pot kill you? The manufacturers say it’s not likely that a Crock-Pot can kill you by causing a fire, which is good news. The bad news is, Crock-pots can kill your health.
Finding out how Jack died in the popular series, 'This is Us,' has left many shocked and saddened, but none more so than companies that sell Crock-Pots. The unexpected and heartbreaking accident on NBC's hit show 'This Is Us' has resulted in a panic with viewers threatening to toss their Crock-Pots. This prompted the manufacturers of the Crock-Pot to immediately defend their brand, saying that the incident on the show was "nearly impossible" and nothing similar had ever occurred in real life.
Ok, so now that we’re somewhat assured that it's "unlikely" that Crock-Pots can start a fire, there is another, slower method, in which cooking food in a Crock-Pot may contribute to killing you – by causing damage to your body in potentially many forms: cancer, heavy metal toxicity, Alzheimer’s and more.
What is a Crock-Pot?
A Crock-Pot is a generic word for a slow-cooker – a countertop electrical appliance that simmers food at low temperatures for an extended period of time using a non-stick Teflon liner. Again, while it is highly unlikely that a crockpot could start a fire as it did in 'This Is Us', using a crockpot frequently can lead you to a more drawn out death. Heat and time are both contributing factors to leaching toxins, and the Crock-Pot uses both.
Here’s How A Crockpot Can Really Kill You
Crock-Pots are made with Teflon. According to the American Cancer Society, Teflon or Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA or C8), is a brand name for a man-made chemical called polytetrafluoroethylene that has been used commercially since the 1940s. Most people are familiar with it as a non-stick coating surface for cookware such as pans and, you guessed it Crock-Pots.
About 70 percent of cookware sold in the United States contains a non-stick coating that contains PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and other perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), which are used to make grease-resistant food packaging and even stain-resistant carpets and clothing. PFOA and PFCs are highly toxic and are a serious health concern because it can stay in the environment and in the human body for long periods of time.
According to the CDC, studies have found that Perflurococtanoic acid is present worldwide in just about everyone’s blood from toxic run-off in drinking water, cookware, (also from stain-resistance carpets and waterproof clothing.
Here’s how A Crock Pot Can Really Kill You
It is well documented that when nonstick cookware is heated, the coating begins breaking down, releasing toxins into the air. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated:
“PFOA can remain in the body for long periods of time. In laboratory animals given large amounts, PFOA can affect growth and development, reproduction, and injure the liver. More research is needed to assess the human health effects of exposure to PFOA."
PFOS Increase Infertility
PFOS increase the odds of infertility anywhere from 70 to 134 percent, while PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility according to a Human Reproduction study published in the Oxford Journals. Other ways these contaminants can be harmful are available at the Environmental Working Group’s website https://www.ewg.org/research/pfcs-global-contaminants#.WmpI6lQ-eCQ
PFOA’s Associated with Cancer
Exposure to PFOAs was positively associated with kidney and testicular cancer in a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Results of the study found that participants reported 2,507 validated cancers (21 different cancer types). In the study, estimated cumulative serum PFOA concentrations were positively associated with kidney and testicular cancer respectively. Categorical analyses also indicated positive trends with increasing exposures for both cancers: for kidney cancer.
Convenience Is The Killer Of Health
While Crock-Pots are convenient for slow cooking while you’re out of the house, using them isn’t worth the health risk. And while you might not meet the sudden end that Jack in the hit series 'This Is Us' did, sacrificing your health for convenience and using a Crock-Pot may come at a heavy price. While the story of how Jack may have been killed in is fictional, the ways that a Crock-Pot can really kill you are not. If you're into slow cooking and must absolutely own a slow-cooker, you would do well to find one without a Teflon liner.
Photo Credit: LetsGoRU
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