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Ameriware Professional Cookware Contains Non-Stick Chemicals Similar To Teflon

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 Professional Cookware.

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 cheaper counterparts.

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 of quality.

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.

PFOA (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 end products.

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 products.

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.



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