Hidden Health Hazard in Non-stick Cookware


Dhaka, May 25, 2017: Use of  non-stick pots and pans on a daily basis, means exposure to hidden  dangers. Non- stick cookware is made using a carcinogenic chemical which starts emitting toxic fumes that one  inhale every time while cooking  with a non-stick pot!  Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO disclosed these findings through their study report entitled, “Uses of Non-stick Utensils and Associated Health and Environmental Impacts”. Syed Marghub Murshed, former Secretary and Chairperson of  ESDO  launched the study report at the press briefing yesterday at its head office in Dhaka.

 Non-Stick cookware is the name of one of those technologies, that make our daily life comfortable and easy. But it can act as a threat to our health and environment. Cooking in non-stick cookware allows food to get brown without sticking to the pan. It requires least amount of oil for cooking. According to the study, the non-stick surface is coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commercially known as Teflon. When the cookware is over heated it releases Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOAs). PFOA has been labeled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogenic.

In Bangladesh, housewives, children and pet animals are becoming the greatest victim of  the poisonous gas release from it because of the increased use of non-stick cookware. According to ESDO’s recent survey, in Dhaka city, women of all ages are getting affected by this pollution. Among 450 women, about 421 are suffering from the problem of kidney and asthma. Among 378 women about 25 to 35 women are suffering from pregnancy related problem. Among children, about 310 are suffering from the problem of kidney and asthma. In case of households, (who  keep pet animals), according to the survey result , about 211 pet animals died with 6 months. This primary survey is showing this kind of destructive  picture, which is a threat to our future generation.

In a pursuit to make non-stick coating manufacturing safer, industry officials of developed countries have made pledges to limit the use of PFOA and eventually phase it out of all production methods. But, there is no initiative on this issue in Bangladesh. Ceramics and stainless steel are considered non-reactive and can be used as alternative to non-stick cook ware.

ESDO urge the government of Bangladesh and the people to come forward and raise the voice to enact legislation to phase out the use of Teflon in the manufacturing of non-stick cookware. They stressed for mass public awareness for  immediate ban of Teflon containing products, stop production, sale and import of them.

 

 



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