09/11/2012 10:49 am ET | Updated Nov 11, 2012

Want a Side of Infertility With Those Eggs?

Nik Sharma/A Brown Table

We all do it. The minute after we decide to move out to a home of our own, we're tapping away at a registry imagining creating the perfect meal in the perfect kitchen outfitted with the perfect pots and pans.

For most of us -- myself included -- that means a 10-piece set that includes everything from a giant roasting pan to a teeny-tiny frying pan that goes from the box to the cupboard and never sees the light of day after that.

Typically, these inexpensive cooking sets are coated with a nonstick surface like Teflon. And we love them because we can make an egg and it'll slide right off the pan onto the plate.

But there's something else that comes with those eggs: infertility.

Teflon is a coating typically made from polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE) and manufactured using perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C8), both of which are perfluorochemicals, better known as PFCs.

A 2009 study at UCLA revealed that women with higher levels of PFOA in their blood were twice as likely to be diagnosed with infertility.

A more recent study also linked PFCs to thyroid disease and colitis.

So what do you do if you already have those "perfect" pots and pans? If you can, replace them with stainless steel, copper or iron versions that don't have a non-stick coating. If you can't afford to overhaul your whole kitchen, start with those that are scratched as they're more likely to leach these toxic chemicals into your food.

And think about the pans that you actually do use -- for me, it's pretty much down to three: a frying pan, a broiler and a big pot. And that feeds a family of five.

Replacing those that you really need is much more affordable than going whole hog for a set. Because who really uses that teeny-tiny frying pan, anyway?

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