Study Links Non-stick Chemicals to Thyroid Illnesses

By Kristie Turck •  Published 01/22/10 •  2 min read

This is not shocking news to me.  We wrote about safer cookware last year and the EWG has been hemming and hawing over PFOA‘s for years.  A new study, done by British researchers found that people with high levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in their blood have higher rates of thyroid diseases — conditions which affect the body’s metabolism.

What are PFOA‘s?

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (referred to as PFOA) is a chemical that is impervious to heat and acid, which is the main compound used in non-stick surfaces.  It is commonly known as Teflon which is the brand name.  This chemical can also be found in coated papers and fabrics.

The British researchers looked at 3966 American adults aged 20 and above whose blood serum was sampled between 1999 and 2006 for PFOA. They found that those with the highest PFOA concentrations (above 5.7 nanograms per milliliter) were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease than individuals with the lowest levels (below 4.0ng/ml).

How Can I Avoid PFOA?

Choose safer cookware. There are quite a few “green” cookware lines available on the market.  I’ve used GreenPan myself but a friend of mine is really happy with the CuisineArt GreenGourmet line of cookware.  Cast iron and plain ol’ stainless cookware are safer bets too.

Avoid certain brand names. Teflon, Zonyl, Stainmaster, Staindefender, Silverstone and Scotchgard are a few of the brands that contain or produce the chemicals in question.