Anolon cookware and PFOA's
I have a set of Anolon cookware, and am concerned about ingesting any of the non-stick coating that has been slowly removed from the bottom surface of the cookware during cooking.
I only use nylon utensils, and hand wash the cookware, but the bottom of the wok, and of the other pots and pans still show many small scratches and chips. I have searched the Internet, but can't find any info addressing this problem. I would appreciate any input on this topic.
Also, I am in the process of switching to either carbon steel, or ceramic coated cookware that is PSOA free. I noticed the blog on this website concerning Japanese made "SS" brand carbon steel cookware, anybody know what the brand name "SS" stands for?
I followed the offered links to the Japanese stores that were suggested as a source, but could not find anything offered by that name. There was some Yamada cookware offered that looked like it might be good.
< am concerned about ingesting any of the non-stick coating that has been slowly removed >
I won't worry too much about ingesting Teflon. Teflon is pretty inert.
<but the bottom of the wok, and of the other pots and pans still show many small scratches and chips.>
It is normal for nonstick to get scratched. Nylon utensils and hand washing do help by slowing the process down, but it is very difficult to stop this. Cooking at low temperature also help preserve the nonstick Teflon surface, but low temperature cooking may be impractical for something like wok cooking.
< I am in the process of switching to either carbon steel>
Good option especially if you like to cook at high temperature.
The science is that PTFE is as inert a plastic as any man has created. So I don't think anyone should be worried over ingesting small pieces (the scratchins' and leavins'). This, too, will pass...
But there is a list of *howevers* that is not short. PFOAs (used historically as a release agent, but now supposedly being phased out with something safer) *are* toxic (to the end user and those in and near the manufacturing process), and the combustion products are EXTREMELY toxic--as in nerve gas. What the manufactuers have always claimed is that all the PFOAs get cooked off during the curing process. Although I can't prove otherwise, I am very skeptical of these claims. It makes far more sense to me that while *most* may be driven off, some takes time (or heating cycles or abrasion/scratches) to leave the party. As far as I know, no good studies have been done on this, nor are you likely to see any anytime soon (unless somehow the CMA decides to attack the Far East manufacturers for still using PFOA release agents.
The sure way not to ingest the PTFE itself is not to use nonstick at all. Unfortunately, keeping PFOAs out of you isn't as easy--they are now in the groundwater in places around the country (and in stain-free carpets and many other things). That's why--very belatedly, under a consent decree--the pan men are supposedly stopping using it.
I cannot answer your specific question about the particular Japanese cookware. However, if history is a guide, you need to be somewhat cynical whenever a maker says their pans are "Teflon-free" or "PFOA-free". At least in the past, what that has meant is that they use PTFE (just not 3M's trademarked Teflon) or resort to some other ruse. And I wouldn't blithely assume that the replacement for PFOA is all that good for you or the environment, either--staying one step ahead of EPA or California doesn't mean it's safe. Considering the alternatives that have many decades or several centuries of track records, I just don't see a reason to become an epidemiological statistic.