The vast majority of cookware sold in America is perfectly safe;
manufacturer's certainly don't want to risk liability by having constituents
that could leach into the food or water.
Having said that, in recent years, a number of controversies have come and gone
(although there are always a few conspiracy type websites keeping even the
absurd ones alive.
Compounds used in the manufacturer of Teflon is the latest controversy. Very
often in producing commercial products, hazardous constituents are reacted to
form a new material which is inert or nontoxic. An obvious illustration is
hydrogen (the gas in the Hindenburg) and oxygen. When combined, they can
explode. But the reaction produces water. Only water. Nothing else but pure,
It seems likely that Teflon, which is highly resistant to degradation, is like
Aluminum pots and pans have also been vilified some years ago, because research
showed that some brain tissue from Alzheimer's victims had elevated levels of
aluminum. Later research has consistently disproved any correlation between
aluminum cookware and Alzheimer's.
Ancient Romans use cookware, goblets and cutlery made of lead. One theory is
that the resultant brain damage from ingesting lead over time lead to the
downfall of the Roman empire.
In recent times, various products made in the Third World have turned out to be
dangerous. An unscrupulous cookware manufacturer in Mexico once made frying pans
that included nuclear waste!
A number of toys have been made in China that included high levels of leachable
forms of heavy metals. Pottery from many third world countries has poor glazing
covering clays that contain arsenic and lead!
Some types of plastic are not suitable for a microwave, as they breakdown;
whereas others are intended for microwave use.
Having said all this; if you wish to be as protective as possible of your
family's health, sticking to tried and true cookware made of nontoxic metals,
such as stainless steel; or glass (the heat resistant types!) that are
manufactured in countries that have strict liability laws (such as the U.S. and
E.U.) is the safest path!
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