What is PFAS in Cookware? PFAS 101 Guide
Preparing meals with nonstick cookware has been the standard for everyday cooking in most kitchens for many years. The easy-release properties minimize the need for added oils and let foods cleanly remove from the pan, making frying eggs, searing meats, or flipping pancakes a breeze. Although highly convenient during cooking tasks and quick to clean after meals, several concerns have emerged over the dangers of some nonstick cookware - particularly surrounding PFAS-based coatings that create a stick-resistant surface. While properly maintained PFAS-based nonstick cookware causes no harm or exposure to PFAS substances, scratches or chips can cause cookware to release these chemicals. We’ve gathered the most important information regarding PFAS-based nonstick cookware to help you make the best decisions for your kitchen.
What are PFAS?
The term PFAS, short for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, describes a variety of man-made substances that will not break down naturally in the environment and can contaminate natural resources such as water and soil. PFAS materials have many helpful properties such as being water-repellent, oil-repellent, and flame-resistant. Since the 1970s, these beneficial chemicals have been incorporated into many products such as stain-resistant and water-resistant clothing, fast food packaging, and nonstick cookware.
What is PFAS in Cookware? How do I Identify PFAS Cookware?
Some nonstick cookware can contain PFAS materials to create a stick-resistant finish. Common types of PFAS found in cookware may be identified as PTFE, PFOA, PFOS, and GenX. This may not be clearly identifiable with some cookware brands, so it is important to consult the manufacturer to obtain this information if not easy to find on the packaging or owner's manual. At Everything Kitchens, you can shop our PFAS-Free Cookware index for our entire selection of PFAS-free cookware.
How Does PFAS Affect My Health?
While the long-term effects of PFAS chemicals on humans are still uncertain, some studies have been conducted to determine these effects. If you are interested in learning more about these studies, the EPA and CDC provide studies and facts on their site regarding PFAS chemicals and their effects on your health.
Is PFAS Cookware Safe to Use?
The ultimate decision is up to you. Although properly maintained scratch-free PFAS cookware is completely safe to use and highly convenient when preparing meals, we recommend discontinuing the use of any nonstick cookware that is peeling, chipping, or showing signs of pitting. This can cause PFAS chemicals to release from the pan and attach to foods.
Does All Nonstick Cookware Contain PFAS?
No! There are many alternatives to PFAS cookware that have safe, naturally derived nonstick properties. If you are concerned about using PFAS cookware, there are several ways you can still achieve a nonstick cooking experience.
What Types of Cookware are PFAS-free?
Stainless Steel, Cast Iron, Enameled Cast Iron, and Carbon Steel are all PFAS-free by construction. Some Ceramic Nonstick Cookware is PFAS-free, however, it is important to confirm with the manufacturer.
What is the Best Nonstick PFAS-Free Cookware?
Several trusted cookware brands carry PFAS-free cookware in a variety of materials. Check out our list below to see some of our most popular brands!
Best Stainless Steel Cookware Brands
Best Cast Iron & Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Brands
Best PFAS-Free Nonstick Cookware Brands
What Non-PFAS Cookware Is Best For Me? How Do I Prevent Foods From Sticking to PFAS-Free Cookware?
If you are concerned about making the transition to PFAS-free cookware, we have gathered our most helpful tips and tricks to help you do so. Read our PFAS-free cooking guide to decide which cookware materials will best replace your PFAS cookware.