Ameriware Professional Non-Stick Cookware commonly sold
at Costco, contains dangerous chemicals, some of which
are generic versions of Teflon.
You may have seen the sales demonstrations at Costco
trying to promote what seems to be an innovation in non-stick
coating. Something so effectively non-stick, that even
the finest layer of egg yolk will be repelled and bead
off the pan. This description will probably seem very
familiar to those of you who have seen the sales demonstration.
There is often even a printed sign at these demos clearly
in front of the pans (just in case you missed the sale
pitch) that states "NO TEFLON" in Ameriware's
Ameriware Products claim is that they have a 3-layer non-stick
system (they call Ti-2) internally reinforced with ceramic
and titanium and approved for use with metal utensils.
It is stronger and more durable than earlier versions
of non-stick cookware as it will not flake like their
Every single one of our investigations into Ameriware
Non-Stick Products started by contacting the company (or
its manufacturing division). They all lead to dead ends.
The company was either unresponsive or refused to disclose
even the most basic chemical constituents of their non-stick
system. Their unresponsive nature and lack of disclosable
information alone was very suspicious. So we launched
our own investigation into this cookware.
We had two independent chemists at two different Universities
breakdown all layers from a small 1 inch sliver of the
non-stick surface of two different Ameriware Professional
8" Sautê Pans. It was virtually impossible
to perfectly isolate all layers of the non-stick surface,
so after the analysis was complete, there was an overlap
of chemicals from every layer. What we do know from the
pans that we analyzed, is that mineral oxides and synthetic
fluoropolymers were found to be the "primary chemical
consituents" in the non-stick surface. Just to make
this clear, Teflon
is made from a synthetic fluoropolymer resin. You may
have heard of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) which is
the synthetic fluoropolymer made famous by the well known
trade mark of Teflon.
PTFE particles are unstable and when they are eventually
released from the pan with continuous use, they coagulate
with larger particles and other ultrafine particles which
form the polluted particulate matter in large cities.
If you see something too good to be true, it usually
is. Call it deceptive marketing, or outright fraud, but
Ameriware non-stick cookware (professional or otherwise)
does indeed contain dangerous chemicals virtually identical
to those that make up Teflon. The only difference is,
Teflon is a brand name trademarked by DuPont. So when
Ameriware (or the sales agency representing them) says
they have no Teflon in their non-stick pans, they are
right and that is true. But that is simply semantics.
If you found out that the chemicals in "rat poison"
were suddenly relabeled and sold at your local grocery
as "ratfresh n' cool" a fresh and delicious
beverage, would you buy it and drink it? Of course not.
Although this is an analogy, it really is no different
and the example draws distinct parallels on how Ameriware
Non-Stick Products are being marketed to deceive consumers.
Anybody who does a reasonable amount of research on the
chemicals that make up Teflon, will eventually learn that
synthetic fluoropolymers emit a series of toxic substances
that morph as they reach higher and higher temperatures.
In other words, as the pan heats, depending on the quality
of the non-stick substance, it gives off fumes and these
fumes change or go through stages of toxicity as the heat
rises. Granted, the non-stick coating of Ameriware Products
is of higher quality than others who flake off, but since
we know they contain synthetic fluoropolymers, they should
prove that their surface is not susceptible to these stages
of toxicity like their non-stick counterparts. My guess
is that they never will because in the end, they are the
same toxic chemicals masked in a different cocktail. After
continual use, and based on the balance of probability
and evidence from other similar synthetic fluoropolymers,
those chemicals will eventually be released regardless
Keep in mind that although their non-stick surface will
not flake like others, it will still scratch. The more
you use it with metal utensils, the greater the chance
you will pierce the non-stick coating, and consequently
the chemicals that make up the coating will eventually
go into the food you are cooking and ingesting.
(Perfluorooctanoic Acid) is used as a necessary processing
aid in the manufacture of all fluoropolymers. PFOA is
a well known carcinogen that has been linked to cancer,
birth defects and liver damage. Almost every manufacturer
of non-stick surfaces in the world will now tell you that
they are filtering PFOA during the manufacturing process.
The truth is that 100% of PFOA will never be completely
captured by any filter. Moreover, any manufacturer or
representative that tells you that PFOA is not present
once the manufacturing process is complete is heavily
misformed. PFOA is found in the blood of over 95% of humans
in the Western world and scientific studies have validated
with certainty that PFOA is released from the fluoropolymer-based
At the present time the
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has not presented
any steps or recommendations for consumers to take or
consider to reduce exposure to PFOA. That's one of the
reasons why companies that manufacture non-stick cookware
that contain fluoropolymers are allowed to stay in business
and continue selling these toxic products to consumers
who are not fully aware of their health risks. That's
also the reason why it is so essential for consumers to
empower themselves with the facts and relevant information
to make the most informed decisions before buying such
Rule of thumb: There is no safe reliable non-stick coating
out there. Don't fall for marketing gimicks that are too
good to be true. Stick with stainless steel or cast iron.
Always ask yourself this, is a perfect crêpe worth
polluting the air you breathe? Unless you're in the restaurant
business, a little bit of food sticking to your pan is
not the end of the world, and it's certainly not worth
your health to change it.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer
advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public
Health and Environmental Science and is a professional
speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental
toxins and health policy.