While the jury is still out on my PCOS-ness and my Thyroid-ness, what the jury agrees on is that non-stick pans, BPA, plastics, and all other carcinogens are bad. Soooo this weekend I purchased my first grown-up set of stainless steel cookware and bamboo utensils. Woo! My first meal, sausage-stuffed baked zucchini(thanks Emily Bites http://www.emilybites.com/2011/06/sausage-stuffed-baked-zucchini.html) has been cooked up and is now in the oven. Nothing stuck to the pan, so I'm considering it a win!
((Why the switch?))
Basically, non-stick coating is only safe "when used correctly" which means only using the pans on a low heat. The risks mess with PCOS hormones (and those of perfectly healthy people) by leeching toxic chemicals into your food, which you eat, and then its into you...just like BPA...and it never leaves your cells. Mothers pass it on to their children, and the toxicity continues.
PFOA (the non-stick stuff) has been shown to cause cancer, low birth weight and a suppressed immune system in laboratory animals exposed to high doses of PFOA. Studies have shown the chemical to be present at low levels in the bloodstream of 9 out of 10 Americans, and in the blood of most newborns. And although the effects of PFOA at lower doses in humans are disputed, there does seem to be a link between PFOA and raised levels of cholesterol. More seriously, some people have claimed that PFOA exposure caused birth defects in babies born to mothers working at a Teflon plant in the early 1980s.
How the chemical is transmitted to humans is unclear, and, thus far, there’s no evidence that nonstick cookware in particular is to blame. But DuPont has been in the cross-hairs of the EPA for some time, and was heavily fined for allegedly hiding data for many years on the toxicity of PFOA, and also for contaminating the Ohio River drinking-water supply near its West Virginia plant (EPA, 2011).
This isn't my attempt to sound like some kind of crazy conspirator, but rather an outline of what I choose to do for my health in my life. I also love cast iron skillets, but boy those are hard to clean, especially if you're lazy about doing dishes from time to time.
Here is another good article to consider: http://willtaft.com/133/health/i-do-not-use-teflon-cookware
And another: http://www.ehow.com/about_5336795_non-stick-cookware-dangers.html
I like people to decide for themselves what fits into their lifestyle. I never want to become the person people think they can't invite over for dinner because of my preferences or choices, but if you can eliminate toxic chemicals a little at a time, you stand to live a happier, healthier life. And, in the end if I'm wrong and the FDA is right, I still tricked myself into feeling better and being healthier--and the mental game is a significant portion of the battle!