Remind me - why should I ditch my non-stick frying pan?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 31, 2011 at 12:08 AM

It's so good to use - but the surface is scratched - and I know this is bad, I just can't say specifically why. What is the specific harm in cooking with it? I need to be able to justify why I need to throw it away and buy a new (cast iron? Stainless steel?) pan instead.



on August 31, 2011
at 01:57 PM

Besides all the chemical stuff, I got tired of having to buy new skillets every year. Cast iron is FOR-EV-ER, baby! :) I also have some stainless steel pots and pans that I bought 35 years ago that are in very good condition. It's an investment at the beginning, but so cost effective over a lifetime!

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on August 31, 2011
at 12:50 AM

There's no physiological mechanism for removal of PFOAs from the blood.



on August 31, 2011
at 12:28 AM

i'd throw it away, i'd rather not chance it

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4 Answers


on August 31, 2011
at 12:38 AM

The PFOA/C8 can be released while cooking, scratched or not. It's well documented that the gas released can and does kill pet birds kept in the kitchen near the stove. It's associated with all kinds of health risks in humans, as well. A place to start:


I use cast iron or stainless or ceramic coated (enameled), period. The trick is learning how to understand cooking temperatures. I've come to the conclusion that the only people who "need" teflon pans are ones who don't know how to cook very well.


on August 31, 2011
at 12:50 AM

My naturopath recommends ceramic coated cast iron.

Non-stick cookware is made using a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which starts emitting toxic fumes that you inhale every time you cook with a non-stick pot or pan! At high temperatures, the coating of non-stick cookware will also break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene!




on August 31, 2011
at 12:50 AM

For non stick, buy these. Also, the product description has a pretty good write up why teflon pans are bad.




on August 31, 2011
at 12:27 AM

I can't say the following with 100% certainty, with that out of the way, teflon is a polymer which is a repeating chemical unit. I assume once the surface structural integrity has been compromised on a teflon pan, it is now more prone to surface fragmentation. This results in increased surface area the polymer exposed to heat and therefore increased rate of degradation. The byproducts of decomposition are pretty harmful from what i have read up on it.

if it were not breaking down due to increased exposure to heat, i still would not want to ingest bits and parts of any cookware...

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