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How To Be Organized: Are Non-Stick Pans Safe?

12/08/2011 09:14 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Flickr Photo by Jeff Nelson

Are nonstick pans safe? According to Margaret Shield, coordinator of the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition in Washington State, this is what we currently know:

- Perfluorooctanoic acod (PFOA), the chemical used in nonstick coating, is a likely human carcinogen.
- When heated, nonstick coating releases small amounts of PFOA particles and gases into the air. Pet birds have an acute response to these vapors and often die when Teflon pans are used in the home.
- PFOA has been found to cause cancer, organ damage, and birth defects in animals. Human risk is still unknown, but the more research done on PFOA, the more we learn of its toxicity.

The manufacture, use, and disposal of PFOA products had been shown to pose an environmental and health risk because these long-lived toxic chemicals continue to build up in our bodies, the environment, and in wildlife overtime. To reduce risk, the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition recommends stainless steel, cast-iron, or enameled cast-iron cookware.

Wondering how to be organized in every area of your life? Check out What's A Disorganized Person To Do?