Cookware Dangers

Hidden Dangers in Cookware: Toxicity and Releasing of Impurities   
Most people are aware of air pollution, water pollution and the dangers of household chemicals. Studies are now showing that certain cookware can also be polluting our bodies. Below are just some examples of how "traditional" cookware can be hazardous to you and you and your family's health. 

Is your Cookware Safe?

Here are some important studies to educate yourself.


Cookware made with scrap metal - Radioactive contaminates food

Aluminum cookware made from scrap metal in countries around the world poses a serious and previously unrecognized health risk to millions of people according to a new study. The highest levels were found in cookware from Vietnam including one pot that released 2,800 times more lead than California's Maximum Allowable Dose Level (MADL) of 0.5 micrograms per day.


The Mysterious Radioactive Cheese Grater (Made in China)

A radioactive cheese grater at Genesee Township landfill points out toxic dangers from Chinese products

Radioactive Cookware- Scrap Metal

Stop Radioactive Cookware

Late last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a proposal to recycle at least 14,000 tons of radioactive metal into the consumer market. And there’s a lot more where that’s coming from. It’s quite possible that DOE could eventually unload even more radioactive scrap.

 The metal comes from a variety of objects from decommissioned nuclear sites, including tools, filing cabinets and structural steel from buildings. According to the DOE’s plans, the material will be mixed with ordinary scrap to make belt buckles, water bottles, food cans, braces, cookware and a wide variety of other items.

The Department of Energy has a problem: what to do with millions of tons of radioactive metal. So the DOE has come up with an ingenious plan to dispose of its troublesome tons of nickel, copper, steel, and aluminum. It wants to let scrap companies collect the metal, try to take the radioactivity out, and sell the metal to foundries, which would in turn sell it to manufacturers who could use it for everyday household products: pots, pans, forks, spoons, your IUD, bracelets, the zipper on your crotch, the coins in your pocket, belt buckles, the batteries in your computer & car and even your eyeglasses.

"There is no safe dose or dose rate below which dangers disappear. No threshold-dose," said John Gofman - one of the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb and co-discoverer of uranium-233. "Serious, lethal effects from minimal radiation doses are not 'hypothetical,' 'just theoretical,' or 'imaginary.' They are real."

Some of the most dangerous radioactivity around the home will be the metals people unintentionally ingest. Some of these find their way directly into the human body, especially copper and iron, stainless steel from knives and forks. It doesn't help any cell in the human body if you send an alpha particle through it.

Radioactive metal recycling will raise overall radiation levels. Who in their right mind would want to do that? This is the legacy of an industry gone mad.

RADIOACTIVE POTS AND PANS! No? Manufactured with radioactive metals from nuclear facility waste, if the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have their way. Tell the DOE and the NRC not to allow recycled nuclear waste into consumer products. By the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimates, the practice of recycling these materials into commercial use has a 1 in 286 risk of causing terminal cancer over the span of a lifetime.

Stop The Government Plan For Radioactive Cookware!It sounds like a horror movie: A government agency decides to recycle surplus radioactive scrap metal and let the tainted metal be incorporated into cookware and other consumer items. But it is not science fiction. It is a real, imminent health disaster on the verge of taking place in the near future in the United States. Late last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a proposal to recycle at least 14,000 tons of radioactive metal into the consumer market. And there’s a lot more where that’s coming from. It’s quite possible that DOE could eventually unload even more radioactive scrap. The metal comes from a variety of objects from decommissioned nuclear sites, including tools, filing cabinets and structural steel from buildings. According to the DOE’s plans, the material will be mixed with ordinary scrap to make belt buckles, water bottles, food cans, braces, cookware and a wide variety of other items.





Stainless Steel Leaches Nickel and Chromium into Foods During COOKING

Toxicological studies show that oral doses of nickel and chromium can cause cutaneous adverse reactions such as dermatitis. Additional dietary sources, such as leaching from stainless steel cookware during food preparation, are not well characterized. This study examined stainless steel grades, cooking time, repetitive cooking cycles, and multiple types of tomato sauces for their effects on nickel and chromium leaching. Trials included three types of stainless steels and a stainless steel saucepan; cooking times of 2 to 20 hours, ten consecutive cooking cycles, and four commercial tomato sauces. After a simulated cooking process, samples were analyzed by ICP-MS for Ni and Cr. After six hours of cooking, Ni and Cr concentrations in tomato sauce increased up to 26- and 7-fold respectively, depending on the grade of stainless steel. Longer cooking duration resulted in additional increases in metal leaching, where Ni concentrations increased 34 fold and Cr increased approximately 35 fold from sauces cooked without stainless steel. Cooking with new stainless steel resulted in the largest increases. Metal leaching decreases with sequential cooking cycles and stabilizes after the sixth cooking cycle, though significant metal contributions to foods were still observed. The tenth cooking cycle resulted in an average of 88 μg of Ni and 86 μg of Cr leached per 126 g serving of tomato sauce. Stainless steel cookware can be an overlooked source of nickel and chromium, where the contribution is dependent on stainless steel grade, cooking time, and cookware usage.

 Nickel should be on the list of toxins introduced to food through cookware.

Nickel Should be on the List of Toxins Introduced to Food Through Cookware

Release of nickel and chromium in common foods during cooking in 18/10 stainless steel pots.

Stainless steel cookware is a significant source of nickel, chromium, and iron.

Contribution to chromium and nickel enrichment during cooking of foods in stainless steel utensils.

Increased Iron Content of Food Due to Stainless Steel Cookware



Stainless steel cookware is made from a metal alloy consisting of mostly iron and chromium along with differing percentages of molybdenum, nickel, titanium, copper and vanadium. But even stainless steel allows other metals to leach into the foods. The principal elements in stainless that have negative effects on our health are iron, chromium and nickel. 18/10

18/8 and 304.


Aluminum is a "reactive" metal, meaning that it reacts with salty or acidic foods to release itself into your food. Dietary sources of aluminum include cookware, containers, foil, and utensils. You can also face exposure to aluminum when the non-stick surface chips off a coated aluminum pan.

Elevated brain aluminum and early onset Alzheimer’s disease in an individual occupationally exposed to aluminum: a case report.

Aluminum: Its likely contribution to Alzheimer's disease. 

A world authority on the link between human exposure to aluminum in everyday life and its likely contribution to Alzheimer’s disease, Professor Christopher Exley of Keele University, UK, says in a new report that it may be inevitable that aluminum plays some role in the disease. Aluminum concentrations in selected foods prepared in aluminum cookware, and its implications for human health.

Lead exposure from aluminum cookware

 Aluminum cookware is one of the most common cookware to use, but can be very toxic as this heavy metal is absorbed into all food cooked in it. The aluminum released into foods during cooking ends up in your body. Excess aluminum has been associated with estrogen-driven cancers and Alzheimer's Disease.



Boiling water in aluminum produces hydroxide poison. Boiling an egg in aluminum produces phosphate. Boiling meat in aluminum produces chloride. Frying bacon in aluminum produces a powerful narcotic acid, which in large doses causes comas, or in excessive doses causes death. All vegetables cooked in aluminum produce hydroxide poison, which neutralizes the digestive juices, robbing them of their value to digest food, producing stomach and gastrointestinal trouble, such as stomach ulcers, and colitis. Aluminum poison will produce acidosis, which destroys the red cells producing a condition similar to anemia. The sale of aluminum cooking utensils is prohibited in Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Switzerland, Hungary and Brazil.  This Committee did not originate the above statements. They could be substantiated if there were any way of getting at information in a report classed as “confidential” by the F.T.C. No one has any means of knowing just what the Commission “has found” relative to the safety or harmful effects of aluminum utensils.

Dr. Charles T. Betts, of Toledo, Ohio (now deceased), who made an intensive study of this subject, issued in 1954 a pamphlet entitled “How Does this Government Suppress the Truth About Aluminum?” This is now out of print. Below are a few excerpts there from:

 In 1920, a Federal agency was given the task to determine if or not the ingestion of aluminum compounds causes illness, sickness, disease (cancer) or death.

The first serial was published July 1st, 1948, of Edward M.Averill’s report, Docket 540, Federal Trade Commission. On August 20th, I received the second notice from the F.T.C. Secretary, O.B. Johnson, that it is still a confidential document – 25 years after it was rendered – even though public funds, possibly $7,500.00 were used to secure the facts. It seems impossible that a Federal authority would put such information in a closed file and still worse that they use every means at their command to prevent us from seeing it. Edward M. Averill was appointed to open the case in 1920. it took over five years , 158 witnesses were called, 1000 exhibits examined, and 4711 closely typewritten pages of testimony taken. More than a quarter of a century has passed since his report was rendered, and so far as we know not one word has reached a single citizen for his health protection. 

Dr. Betts got hold of a copy of Averill’s “purported official report” and decided to publish it. The F.T.C. got wind of this, and informed Dr. Betts: “Be advised Commission regards report as confidential documentation and its publication in whole or in part is highly improper … I have affixed the seal of the Federal Trade Commission to the letter, and this seal, according to the statute, shall be judicially noticed.” (Signed: Otis B. Johnson, Sec’y)


Aluminum is bioaccumulative and has been identified as a neurotoxin, and there's evidence to support the theory that chronic exposure to low levels of aluminum may lead to neurological disorders like Alzheimer's. It's likely that older people have a potentially pathological accumulation of aluminum in their brain due to exposure over a lifetime. Aluminum cookware contributes to this accumulation.

According to Mount Sinai Hospital,

Aluminum toxicity can cause:

  • Confusion

  • Muscle weakness

  • Bone pain, deformities, and fractures

  • Seizures

  • Speech problems

  • Slow growth—in children

Complications of aluminum toxicity may include:

  • Lung problems

  • Nervous system problems causing difficulty with voluntary and involuntary actions

  • Bone diseases

  • Brain diseases and disorders

  • Anemia

  • Impaired iron absorptionAw#v=onepage&q&f=false


Teflon cookware is probably the all-time worst of all cookware. Johns Hopkins Medical Center says the chemical PFOA, used in manufacturing Teflon, is now found in the bloodstreams of nearly everyone in the U.S. Early studies suggest that high PFOA blood levels in humans are linked with cancer, high cholesterol levels, thyroid disease and reduced fertility. Teflon surfaces break down and end up in your food and when heated to high temperatures, emit fumes which cause flu-like symptoms in humans (AKA: polymer fume fever) and can be fatal to birds. Manufacturers have to eliminate PFOA from all cooking products by the year 2015.

Canaries in the Kitchen: Teflon kills birds

Avian veterinarians have known for decades that Teflon-coated and other non-stick cookware can produce fumes that are highly toxic to birds. As early as 1986, a Chicago-area expert on “Teflon toxicosis” called the phenomenon a “leading cause of death among birds,” and estimated that hundreds of birds are killed by the fumes and particles emitted from Teflon-coated products each year.

An environmental group wants cookware made with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces, to be labelled with a warning that it can kill birds. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart in two to five minutes. The group says the coating emits fumes linked to hundreds of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year.

The U.S.-based environmental group has filed a petition with the Consumer Product Safety Commission asking for the warning labels,

Teflon Toxicity in Birds: Can Teflon Fumes Kill Birds?  PFCs: Global Contaminants: Teflon and other non-stick pans kill birds PFCs: Global Contaminants. Consumers instantly recognize them as household miracles of modern chemistry — Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster, Gore-Tex.

THYROID DISEASE A chemical found in non- stick cookware and food packaging has been linked to thyroid disease. The substance, PFOA, which is found throughout the home, has previously been branded potentially carcinogenic. Study links thyroid disease to non-stick chemicals.



August 2005: Environmental Issues and Breast Cancer: Can Teflon cause cancer?


Are you eating cancer-causing chemical C8 in your favorite non-stick cookware?

Do Teflon and PFOA cause cancer?

Studies have looked at cancer rates in people living near or working in PFOA-related chemical plants. Some of these studies have suggested an increased risk of testicular cancer with increased PFOA exposure. Studies have also suggested possible links to kidney cancer and thyroid cancer, but the increases in risk have been small and could have been due to chance.

Other studies have suggested possible links to other cancers, including prostate, bladder, and ovarian cancer. But not all studies found such links, and more research is needed to clarify these findings.

Weight Management Efforts Impacted by Your Choice of Cookware

A recent study linked perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a close cousin to PFOAs, to weight gain and obesity.14 Previous studies have associated the chemicals with immune dysregulation, hormone disruption and cancers.


Study Finds Teflon Chemical In Newborns Umbilical Cords

The poison found in everyone, even unborn babies – and who is responsible for it.

Chemicals called PFAS and PFOS – known as forever chemicals – are in the blood of virtually every person on the planet. And they will only accumulate. 

Concerns Remain on Voluntary C-8 Phase Out

NON STICK COOKWARE RAISES CHOLESTEROL  DuPont Study Finds Link Between Teflon Contaminant and Elevated Cholesterol

Metal fume fever and polymer fume fever. 

PFOA Teflon chemical has poisoned nearly the entire world

 DOCUMENTARY  on Netflix showing the dangers on NON-STICK cookware Teflon and the NEW GEN-X  Chemicals put in Non stick and Ceramic coated Non stick pans.


Ceramic has Aluminum  - Non stick Ceramic has PTFE- Teflon

Ceramic Coated Pans- C- 6 Compound C-8

PFOA has been replaced with other chemicals such as GenX, but these new alternatives are also suspected to have similar toxicity.

 Ceramic Non-stick are aluminum based coated- the Aluminum still releases during cooking.

To make the so-called ceramic coatings, a metal pot is dipped into or sprayed with a plastic (chemically based polymer) solution. As these synthetic, plastic-like coatings are softer than metal, the surface degrades with normal use. The life expectancy of a nonstick ceramic-coated pot is about one year. Once the synthetic coating wears thin, pits or scratches, toxic metals from the underlying metal can leach into foodstuffs. And the coating itself may contain toxic metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium.

 Are PTFE and Teflon the Same Thing? (Hint: Yes)

Short answer: Yes. Teflon is simply Dupont's brand name for its PTFE product. Since they were the first to market the product, it became known by its brand name, Teflon, rather than its generic name, PTFE. 

But they are the same thing.

Here's a short article to substantiate this.

Today, there are dozens--probably even hundreds--of different brand names for PTFE. Many of them have "stone" or "granite" in the name. This is probably meant to speak to the durability of the product, but it can be confusing for people looking for a ceramic nonstick because ceramic is made from sand and clay; "stone and "granite" can make it sound like the cookware is a ceramic product.

We wanted to put together a list of PTFE brand names--one of the easiest ways to know what you're buying--but that information was hard to find. There are a lot of manufacturers who make a lot of different brands of PTFE, and the research required for a comprehensive list proved too time consuming.

Instead, we'll just advise that if a seller lists what sounds like a brand name, you can often find out what it is by doing an Internet search (though not always). In this way, we discovered that Eterna, Eclipse, QuanTanium, HALO, Xylan, Skandia, Dura-Slide, Granite Rock, Granitium, ILAG and even some types of Greblon (which was originally only a ceramic coating) are all trade names for PTFE. 

You can read more about PTFE on its Wikipedia page.

Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles (A Ceramic Nonstick Issue)

Nanoparticles released by quasi-ceramic pans Scientists measure release of titanium dioxide particles from non-stick surfaces of quasi-ceramic frying pans; find considerable migration of both ions and particles, partially in nanoform; acidic simulants and scratching accelerate migration

There are two types--and only two types--of nonstick cookware:

1) PTFE (aka Teflon)

2) Ceramic nonstick( all ceramic has Aluminum and Nanoparticles leaching.


Ceramic nonstick cookware is perceived as the healthier choice, but has potential safety issues are coming to light about it, too: see the section on titanium dioxide nanoparticles.  Also you have aluminum in Nonstick ceramic. All the rest of the chemicals are found in PTFE and Teflon cookware.


There are hundreds of different trade names for PTFE (besides Teflon), and makers sometimes give the impression that their cookware is something new and different. They also use reinforcements as a name (e.g., titanium, diamond, granite, stone) to avoid calling their product PTFE (or worse, Teflon). But nonstick cookware can only be PTFE-based or nonstick-ceramic based.

PTFE (Also Known as Teflon®)

Also Called: Teflon®.

What It Is and Where It's Found

PTFE is an acronym for polytetrafluoroethylene. It is a man-made, long-chain organic molecule--i.e., a hydrocarbon--derived from petroleum. It was discovered by Dupont chemist Roy Plunkett in 1938 (click that link to read more about this amazing discovery). Dupont called this discovery Teflon®.


There are other clues, as well. Here are some ways you can sometimes-but-not-always figure out what a pan is made from if it isn't clearly stated.

  • "PFOA and PTFE free" means a pan is ceramic (because it contains no PTFE). However, you have to be careful. Some pans claim to be free of PTFE but go on to say they contain a PTFE coating (such as Quantum 2). This is probably unintentional, and not meant to be deceptive; the person writing the copy may not realize that the pan contains PTFE (and are just as confused as the consumer).

  • "PFOA free" usually means a pan is PTFE. 

  • "PFOA-, APEO-, and BPA-free" usually means PTFE. 

  • In fact, being free of any list of acronyms and/or toxins doesn't mean it's a PTFE-free pan, unless one of the acronyms listed is PTFE.

  • If a brand name for the nonstick coating is given (e.g., Teflon, Autograph, Eterna, Quantium, Greblon, etc.), you can search for it on the Internet to find out whether the coating contains PTFE. (All of these given here are PTFE).

  • "Diamond," "Titanium," "Earth Stone," and "Granite" mean next to nothing. These substances can be added to both PTFE and ceramic to strengthen the nonstick coating (although they're usually added to PTFE). They can also be part of a brand name that tells you very little about a pan's actual content.

  • "Healthy" and "Non-toxic" are marketing terms that mean very little. Now that PFOA is banned in cookware in the US, and because PTFE itself is non-toxic (unless heated above 536F), both types of nonstick coatings are technically non-toxic, and can be labeled as such. 

  • Even "ceramic" doesn't always mean a pan contains no PTFE. "Ceramic" can be used as an adjective, just like "stone" and "titanium", and doesn't always mean the pan actually contains those materials. A surprising number of PTFE pans have the word ceramic somewhere in the description. Again, you have to read the find print--and if you still can't determine what a pan is made of, you should assume that it's PTFE. 

  • Be especially careful about Greblon coatings. Greblon was one of the original ceramic nonstick coatings, but today there are several iterations of Greblon, and many of them contain PTFE. This page on the Greblon website discusses both their PTFE and their ceramic coatings.

  • If you've read and read and still can't figure out what the coating is, assume that it is PTFE.

  • Finally, look at the photo. PTFE has a matte finish, while ceramic nonstick has a shiny finish. You can't always tell, but sometimes it's obvious. 

Ceramic nonstick has a shiny finish

PTFE has a matte finish, like this All-Clad HA1

Also note that color doesn't mean anything. 

Both PTFE and ceramic cookware can come in any color,including very light colors.

 Buzzwords (and Phrases) to UnderstandHere are some confusing terms you might see. Understanding what they mean can help you determine what nonstick coating a pan has. 

APEO-free: Means the cookware has no alkylphenols in it. These are surfactants used in minute amounts in manufacturing, and as with PFOA/PFAS, it doesn't mean a lot if we don't know what the APEOs have been replaced with. 

Both PTFE and ceramic nonstick can be labeled as APEO-free. (Read more about APEO on Wikipedia's alkylphenol page.) 

arsenic-free: see "lead-free" below. 

Artech: Brand of PTFE coating. 

cadmium-free: see "lead-free" below. 

ceramic: can mean either PTFE-free ceramic nonstick or a PTFE coating reinforced with ceramic particles. So further research is needed to be certain what the term ceramic is referring to. 

Classic: This usually means PTFE cookware, but not always. 

Diamond: Some nonstick coatings are reinforced with diamond dust to improve durability. Usually PTFE, but may also apply to ceramic. 

Earth: Marketing term, largely meaningless. Can apply to PTFE (as in "Ozeri Stone Earth" pan) or ceramic (as in "Ozeri Green Earth" pan). 

Granite: Marketing term. Can apply to PTFE or ceramic. 

Green: Almost always used to describe ceramic ("GreenPan," "Green Earth" etc.). But it's a marketing term, so be careful and read the fine print.  

Greblon: Greblon was one of the original ceramic coatings developed about 10 years ago. Today, Greblon makes several nonstick coatings, some of which are PTFE. So be careful when looking at a pan with a Greblon coating, as it could be either PTFE or ceramic. This website lists the Greblon brand names and whether they're ceramic or PTFE (it's in German, but Google will translate it for you.) 

Healthy: Marketing term. Means nothing. All cookware is "healthy," or at least not unsafe, when used properly, including PTFE-coated cookware. However, the term often leads to assumptions that the pan has no PTFE in it, because PTFE is the usual health concern for people when they're buying nonstick cookware. If a pan is labeled as "healthy," don't automatically assume this means it is PTFE-free. Read the fine print--and if you can't figure it out, it's probably PTFE. 

ILAG: ILAG is a chemical company that makes several lines of nonstick coatings, including PTFE and ceramic cookware coatings. See their website for more information--but don't expect crystal clarity. It only makes sense if you know that "polymer" means a hydrocarbon product, and that hydrocarbon means PTFE. It is probably not meant to be deliberately confusing as it is a website for chemists. But be forewarned that the compositions of their products may not be instantly clear to you just by reading their site.

lead-free: Some inexpensive ceramic nonstick could have lead, cadmium, arsenic or other toxic chemicals in it. No cookware sold in the US should contain any toxic chemicals, however, so being "lead-free" or "cadmium-free," while it sounds reassuring, doesn't really mean a whole lot. Lead and cadmium are typically associated with ceramic cookware, but now we're seeing these labels even on PTFE cookware, which is not only largely meaningless, but adds to the confusion. Most nonstick cookware is made in China, but if it's a reputable brand, there's almost no danger from toxic chemicals, whether ceramic or PTFE. The best way to avoid toxins in your cookware is to not buy cheap cookware from a maker you're not familiar with.  

Non-Toxic: See "Healthy" above. 

PFOA-free: As of 2015, all nonstick cookware sold in the US is PFOA-free, including PTFE (Teflon) cookware, so this is a largely meaningless term. It can lead people to believe that a pan does not contain PTFE, when most of the time, it means that a pan does contain PTFE.  If a pan is ceramic, it's usually labeled "PTFE- and PFOA-free." 

PFAS-free: Stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The larger family that PFAS belong to. May mean a safer chemical was used but until they actually say what was used, it's no guarantee.

Polymer/Polymerized/Polymeric/Polymerization: Polymers are types of plastic molecules, so descriptions with any reference to polymers or polymerization are PTFE (which is a plastic molecule). (See "ILAG" above for an example of this.) 

Professional: Any description that calls the cookware "professional" usually means PTFE.

 Quantium: Brand name of PTFE coating. 

Stone: Marketing term that can refer to either PTFE or ceramic coating. For example, GraniteStone cookware and Stone Earth by Ozeri are both PTFE-coated pans (even though they sound like they're ceramic). Many ceramic nonstick pans also have the word "stone" in the name or the description. Thus, if you see the word "stone" in the name or the description of a pan, keep digging, because it does not definitively tell you which coating the pan has. 

Thermolon: Brand name for a type of ceramic nonstick coating. Green Pan is a ceramic cookware brand that has Thermolon coating. 

Titanium: Can refer to a brand name ("Zwilling Titanium"), to titanium added to a nonstick coating (either PTFE or ceramic), or, rarely, to the composition of the cookware (i.e., titanium rather than aluminum or stainless). Says nothing about the composition of the nonstick coating, and further research is needed. 

(For more info, see our article on titanium nonstick cookware.)


Aluminum Ceramic coating  made in China and India

Ceramic: can mean either PTFE-free ceramic nonstick or a PTFE coating reinforced with ceramic aluminum & nano particles = plastic. 


My Place Cookware

Made from Cast Aluminum and coated with a layer of nonstick ceramic- Made inThailand, China and Mexico.

Ceramic: can mean either PTFE-free ceramic nonstick or a PTFE coating reinforced with ceramic aluminum & nanoparticles.


Glass Cookware- Ceramic/ Bakeware 

Pyrex contains Aluminum


Pyrex produced by Corning (right) and a clear tempered Pyrex soda-lime glass measuring cup produced by World Kitchen (left, differentiated by

its different logo and bluish tint) Pyrex manufactured by Corning, Arc International's Pyrex products, and Pyrex laboratory glassware are made of borosilicate glass. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, borosilicate Pyrex is composed of (as percentage of weight): 4.0% boron, 54.0% oxygen, 2.8% sodium, 1.1% aluminum, 37.7% silicon, and 0.3% potassium

 Colored glass or glass with something painted on it may contain lead or cadmium. And according to Wikipedia, “soda-lime glass is prepared by melting the raw materials, such as sodium carbonate (soda), lime, dolomite, silicon dioxide(silica), aluminum oxide (alumina), and small quantities of fining agents (e.g., sodium sulfate, sodium chloride) in a glass furnace at temperatures locally up to 1675 °C.”

Lead, Cadmium and Cobalt (Pb, Cd, and Co) Leaching of Glass-Clay Containers by pH Effect of Food



These products are made of opaque Pyroceram ceramic-glass.

Pyoceram glass is produced by dousing glass containing aluminum oxide in a hot potassium salt bath. The addition of aluminum oxide was believed to make the glass extremely durable and at the same time highly flexible. .

Pyroceram is made from a magnesium aluminosilicate glass with titania as nucleating agent, and the key crystalline phase has been identified as cordierite (2MgO-2Al2O3-5SiO2).

 Pyroceram ceramic



XTREMA CERAMIC is made with Pyroceram ceramic- has aluminum leaching.

Enamel Coated Cookware + Crock pots 

Le Creuset has

  • lead

  • cadmium

  • nickel

  • chromium

  • aluminum

 Aluminum INCREASED in all my pots.

  1. Most significant was in my scratched Dune Le Creuset.  However, my red Le Creuset is also scratched and it didn’t increase to the same level.  My initial reaction is that there might be aluminum in the enamel but that can’t be fully determined from these test.  

  2. My stainless steel has an aluminum core, like most stainless steel pots.

  3. The next question for me is if it is leaching or if aluminum is increasing because of the pasta sauce cooking down (or both).

  4. Yes, the previous sample of pasta sauce has aluminum – ugh.

  1. Cadmium increased in the red Le Creuset which I know has high levels of cadmium on the outside.  It doesn’t fully make sense that leaching would happen from the outside.  

  2. Cadmium increased in the Dune Le Creuset by the highest amount!  This is suppose to be lead and cadmium free.  The Dune pot I had tested with an XRF had low levels of cadmium on the exterior and nothing on the interior.  I did not test my specific pot.  Due to this result it makes me believe this could just be a function of cooking down the pasta sauce. 

  3. The rest of the values could all be zeros or could all be as high as the percentages I listed above.  So this information is not so informative.

  4. Separately I also tested a Le Creuset with an XRF to see if there was aluminum.  It tested positive but with the thin coating I was told I could be getting false positives.

  5. This testing was not controlled in a lab (obviously since it’s my kitchen!) and results could vary by slight variations in heat on the stove.  

  6. If I would have known that the original pasta sauce that was organic and in a glass jar would have had toxins to begin with, I could have adjusted my plan and used fresh tomatoes.  I didn’t do this for cost reasons initially.  

  7. I view this as informative but not definitive.  Further testing is needed to really know what is going on. 

Lead toxicity from glazed ceramic cookware

Poor heat distribution. Foods stick and burn. Contains lead or cadmium (the toxic part of batteries), heavy metals to temper the glass to take higher heat without exploding. Lead can cause reproductive harm and learning disabilities. If we took the lead out of the paint on our walls, the pipes in house, and our gas is now unleaded, shouldn't our cookware also be free of lead?

Cadmium according to Wikipedia: Cadmium has no constructive purpose in the human body. Cadmium is extremely toxic even in low concentrations, and will bioaccumulate in organisms and ecosystems.[1]

May cause flu like symptoms including chills, fever, and muscle ache sometimes referred to as "the cadmium blues." Symptoms of inflammation may start hours after the exposure and include cough, dryness and irritation of the nose and throat, headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, chills, and chest pain.

The bones become soft (osteomalacia), lose bone mineral density (osteoporosis) and become weaker. This causes pain in the joints and the back, and also increases the risk of fractures.

The kidneys lose their function to remove acids from the blood in proximal renal tubular dysfunction. The kidney damage inflicted by cadmium poisoning is irreversible. The proximal renal tubular dysfunction creates low phosphate levels in the blood (hypophosphatemia), causing muscle weakness and sometimes coma. The dysfunction also causes gout, a form of arthritis due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints because of high acidity of the blood (hyperuricemia). Another side effect is increased levels of chloride in the blood (hyperchloremia). The kidneys can also shrink up to 30%.

Other patients lose their sense of smell (anosmia). A final note on glass cookware and bakeware, a friend told me how her glassware exploded from the oven and shot broken pieces of hot glass across the room. Fortunately none of her kids were in the room at the time.

Some ceramic foodwares have been found to leach significant quantities of lead from potential food contact surfaces. The metal is extractable by foods and can cause a wide variety of adverse health effects including the traditional effects of chronic lead poisoning under continued food use.

Ceramic, enamel, and glass cookware are manufactured with lead. Lead gives these wares shock resistance and color uniformity. The level of lead in each product is set by the manufacturer. Never cook with anything labeled "for decoration only".



Cast Iron: Amount of brain iron used to predict Alzheimer's

The reality is that ions from cast iron cooking pot are in ferric form (Fe3+), a transition element (hydrated form) which undergoes progressive hydrolysis to yield insoluble ferric hydroxide (Fe(OH)3’. Actually iron exists in two forms: ferrous Fe2+ and ferric-Fe3+. Ferrous form is more soluble in water at physiological pH. Ferrous iron is what makes blood red and comes from foods. Iron is used by the metabolic reaction only when it is in reduced form (ferrous state Fe2+) but it is stored and transported in the body as ferric ion (Fe3+). The body cannot assimilate properly the ferric from of iron (from a cast iron pan) so the ingested ferric iron gets treated by the body as a heavy metal and ends up getting stuck in the liver and kidneys Ekalobi, (2008) [84]. It should be noted that ferric form of iron is stored in the body, so it can accumulate over time, contributing to joint pain/arthritis, digestive troubles, depression, impotence, early menopause, and other issues associated with iron toxicity [85,17]. Since cast iron is a toxic unassimilable kind of iron, it then means that a cooking pot that leaches a large amount of Fe3+ constitutes health danger and not healthy as some people believe. Urinary and fecal iron excretion is very low, thus, apparent iron absorption will practically equal apparent iron retention [86].The observed decrease.Ekalobi, C. I. (2008). A physiological based model for the ingestion of trace metals by humans. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol., 118, 16-29.82. Eka, O. U. (1985).


To curb the dementia epidemic, focus is shifting to one of the most abundant elements on Earth: iron. The familiar metal is key to numerous brain functions, but too much of it is toxic. Researchers in Melbourne showed two years ago that iron levels in the brain can predict when people will get Alzheimer’s disease. END QUOTE. 


‘Rusty’ brains linked to Alzheimer’s

UCLA study suggests iron is at core of Alzheimer's disease

Physicists link specific iron forms to Alzheimer's

 The amount of iron absorbed by food from cast iron and carbon steel pots and pans varies with cooking times, acid levels, types of food, and shape of the utensil.



UCLA Study Points to Iron as Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease

Cast iron cookware is very durable but iron is constantly leaching into the food, changing the enzymes in it. Iron can reach toxic levels in the body with regular use and becomes a pro-oxidant which causes stress, oxidation and eventually disease.

Most porous of all metals. Grease can turn rancid in pores. Some people believe that they can get iron from a cast iron pot. The reality is that iron comes in a ferrous and a ferric form. Your body cannot assimilate the iron(ferric) from a cast iron pan. Iron Toxicity: All You Need to Know About Iron Overdose

Excess Iron and Brain Degeneration: The Little-Known Link

Brain Iron Levels, Alzheimer's Disease, and Cognitive Decline

Excess Iron is a Health Hazard

Cast iron revolves around the health problems caused by excess iron in the diet. Research has demonstrated that cooking with iron pots and pans significantly raises iron levels in food. Correspondingly, the iron levels of those who eat that food increase as well. (1, 2)

Women do not typically need to worry about this problem as long as they are menstruating. The monthly cycle is a protective factor against this condition. Growing children also are not particularly susceptible as growth obviously requires more blood and more iron.

However, for adult men (even fully grown young men) and menopausal women, cast iron can definitely pose a problem as the iron that naturally gets into food from utilization of this type of cookware can result in iron rising to toxic levels. This condition is associated with a host of serious health problems.

Iron is one of  the few minerals we cannot eliminate except through blood loss, therefore supplements should never contain iron. Moreover, cooking with cast iron is a questionable choice for this segment of the population.

Most people view iron as a nutrient, and indeed it is. It is also a powerful agent of oxidation in the body. This means that excess iron increases the chances of cancer and can severely damage the heart, arteries, and other organs. In addition, persons with an inherited condition called haemochromatosis, or iron overload disease, can be especially harmed from iron intake.  If you have any family members with this condition (about 1 million Americans), you should be especially careful with sources of iron in your diet.

Iron Overload Symptoms

Unfortunately, the symptoms of iron overload are similar to those of other conditions. Therefore it may be wise to request a transferrin saturation test at your next check up to eliminate iron as a potential source of your health woes. This is particularly important if you suffer from any of the following and are an adult male or menopausal female:

  • Fatigue

  • Joint or muscle weakness

  • Mysterious stomach or other gastrointestinal pain/nausea

  • Weight loss that cannot be explained

  • Elevated liver enzymes

  • Shortness of breath

  • Early menopause

  • Loss of sex drive

  • Impotence

  • Loss of body hair (this is also a symptom of adrenal fatigue)

Later stage symptoms of iron toxicity

  • Graying or bronzing of the skin

  • Blood sugar issues

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Liver problems

  • Arthritis

How to Resolve Iron Overload Quickly

If you’ve been cooking with cast iron for a long time and are an adult male or menopausal female, it might be wise to donate blood right away. This practice will reduce iron stores immediately. Remember, loss of blood is the only way to resolve iron toxicity 

problems.  Continue regular blood donation until you can completely switch over to another type of nontoxic cookware such as enamel, glass, or titanium.

Anemia Problems Are Usually an Imbalanced Gut – NOT – Inadequate Iron Intake

Believe it or not, there is plenty of iron in the diet of the typical American. Even those eating the horrific Standard American Diet need not worry about inadequate iron intake. 

Dr Neal Barnard  In his latest PBS series he talks about why cast iron and aluminum cookware are linked to Alzheimer's. Saladmaster has a featured spot in his PBS series.

Ferrous Iron reacts with Peroxides in the body causes Free Radicals



Problems with Inorganic Iron “inorganic minerals displace organic minerals at receptor sites and must be detoxed before being replaced with organic minerals”. When inorganic (non-heme) iron (cast iron) is ingested the best case scenario is that it will be eliminated in the stool. This is why inorganic iron supplements turn the stool dark and often cause constipation. Our bodies cannot easily break down this form of iron because it is a metal. Organic iron (heme), on the other hand, does not darken the stool. Any inorganic iron that is not assimilated or eliminated will remain unused in the body’s tissues. These deposits can lead to disease such as kidney or gall stones, arthritis or hardening of the arteries. While studies show that inorganic iron can be absorbed into the bloodstream, this process is not without side effects and cautions. It is extremely important that the stomach contains acid to dissolve the iron. Iron supplements may interfere with other medications and many foods inhibit the absorption of the iron. The supplements are toxic to children and extreme care must be taken to keep them away from little ones. Gastrointestinal side effects are common and can cause irritation and make colitis or Crohn’s disease worse. Excess iron from supplementation can even cause organ damage. Remember, the form of iron in these supplements is inorganic (non-heme), the same form of iron found in cast iron pots and pans.

Lead Poisoning and Crock Pots

In his 2004 investigation, Gephardt found that 20 percent of the cookers tested leached measurable amounts of lead. Is the government doing something about this? Well, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) can’t place a total ban on lead since it’s a naturally occurring element that’s found in our environment. However, they have set out some guidelines intended to keep the levels low. 

According to FDA leach levels of 1 mcg/mL are acceptable for large vessels like slow cookers.


Copper Cookware = Alzheimer's

Copper May Worsen Alzheimer’s Risk New research indicates that copper is one of the major environmental factors responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.

Copper a Role in Alzheimer’s Disease

Copper Toxicity

Copper and nickel, both toxic heavy metals, are found in the finish of copper cookware and can be leached into food. When heavy metals like these build up in the body the dangerous effects on the mind and body include mental disturbance and chronic illnesses.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Copper Biochemistry

Copper in diet linked to Alzheimer's disease

 Alzheimer’s disease causation by copper toxicity



Instant Pot

Instant pot is made in China. It is generally made from aluminum & stainless steel. 

The  inner pot has one ply layer of  cheap stainless steel- Leaching Chrome- Nickel &aluminum .