So imagine my surprise when I read this weekend that the ease of that non-stick coating could carry a hefty price. The Globe and Mail reports that:
People with higher residues in their blood of a chemical used to make non-stick
coatings for frying pans and water-repellent clothing have a far greater
likelihood of reporting thyroid diseases, according to a new study released
...The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that in a group of nearly 4,000 people in the United States, those with elevated PFOA levels were more than twice as likely to report being on medication to treat thyroid conditions as those with lower concentrations of the chemical.
What's worse is what was buried in the story:
Once people ingest a quantity of PFOA, it takes about four years for half of the
chemical to be cleared from the body by the kidneys.
While this isn't the first time I've read about chemicals from everyday products taking harbor in your body, the research study certainly gives me pause. While I'll be the first to admit I'm annoyed when my husband leaves the cast-iron skillet on the stove uncleaned overnight, it may be a small price to pay to help ensure my child has a smaller chance of getting a disease that will require medical management for the rest of his or her life.
The greater question, of course, is where do all the tossed non-stick pans go...and what happens with the chemicals as they decompose. But that is a worry for another day.