WE all have a trusty pan that we hold on to even when it’s a little broken.
But a doctor has warned that being sentimental about cooking tools could actually be harmful to your health – and even put you at risk of cancer.
Dr. Poonam Desai — who goes by Doctoranddancer on TikTok — posted a video on the app explaining why she quickly throws away her scratched nonstick or ceramic pans.
The doctor said in a clip that has now garnered over half a million views that she doesn’t use non-stick pans with scratches “because they can release millions of microplastics into our food.”
Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that are smaller than five millimeters and are often invisible to the naked eye.
They can arise from the breakdown of larger plastics, but are also found in clothing and household goods.
According to Dr. According to Desai, they are “endocrine disruptors” and “can cause hormonal imbalances, fertility problems and even increase our risk of cancer.”
Your endocrine system is a network of glands and organs throughout the body and is responsible for regulating a number of body functions through the release of hormones HealthyLine.
Pans are coated with Teflon to prevent food from burning while cooking.
The heat-resistant particles used to form a non-stick layer are called per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) – also known as forever chemicals.
After ingestion, they can remain in the body for a long timeover time, sometimes slowly flushing out with urine.
Researchers at the University of Southern California previously linked “perpetual chemicals” lurking on pots, pans, spoons and other household items to a common liver cancer known as non-viral hepatocellular carcinoma.
Dr. Desai added that she also avoids using “ceramic pans that are scratched because they have an aluminum layer.” [that can] “Invade our food” when exposed through chips and scratches.
Pure ceramic pans are generally considered a safer alternative to nonstick pans because they do not contain PFAS or metals.
Ceramic-coated pans, on the other hand, are usually made of aluminum with a ceramic-based non-stick coating.
“If my pan is nonstick or ceramic and has scratches or chips, I usually throw it away,” she said.
A 2020 article by USA today claims that while some aluminum does leach into food when cooking in foil or with aluminum cookware, “it is not true that this causes health effects in healthy adults.”