Updated May 21st, 2024 at 21:06 IST

Indian Health Authorities Warn Against Use Of Non-Stick Cookware - All You Need To Know

As awareness grows about the potential risks associated with non-stick cookware, an increasing number of consumers are embracing eco-friendly alternatives.

Non stick cookware | Image:Unsplash
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Indian health authorities, including the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), have released updated Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGIs), cautioning against the use of non-stick cookware. Citing emerging research and health concerns, the apex bodies advocate for eco-friendly alternatives to traditional non-stick pans.

Non-stick cookware popular in Indian households 

Non-stick cookware, once lauded for its convenience, is now under scrutiny due to potential health hazards associated with its use. Chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), used in producing non-stick coatings, can release toxic fumes when heated, posing risks to respiratory health and potentially contributing to certain diseases, including cancer. While some compounds, like PFOA, have been phased out, residual chemicals may still be present in non-stick cookware, warranting caution in usage.

Additionally, prolonged use or exposure to high temperatures can lead to the degradation of non-stick coatings, increasing the likelihood of chemicals leaching into food during cooking. This risk is exacerbated when cooking acidic foods or using metal utensils, which can accelerate the breakdown of the coating. Health experts recommend cooking at moderate temperatures and using utensils made of wood, silicone, or plastic to mitigate these risks.

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Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash

Apart from health concerns, non-stick cookware also raises environmental issues. The production and disposal of non-stick coatings involve the use of chemicals that can persist in the environment, contributing to pollution and ecological damage. To address these challenges, consumers are exploring eco-friendly alternatives such as ceramic cookware, which offers non-stick properties without the use of harmful chemicals. Made from natural materials like clay and sand, ceramic cookware is durable, scratch-resistant, and safe for high-temperature cooking.

In light of these developments, the revised dietary guidelines underscore the importance of mindful cooking practices for the health and well-being of individuals and the environment. As awareness grows about the potential risks associated with non-stick cookware, an increasing number of consumers are expected to embrace eco-friendly alternatives, paving the way for healthier and more sustainable culinary habits.

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Published May 21st, 2024 at 21:06 IST