- Dr. Poonam Desai posted on TikTok explaining why she throws away chipped pans
- Scratched nonstick pans can “leak millions of microplastics into our food”
- READ MORE: Contamination of school water with PFAS forces people to stay away from sources
A doctor has warned on TikTok against using scratched pans due to the microplastics they can release.
Dr. Poonam Desai, who practices in New York and calls herself doctoranddancer on social media, posted a video last month about why she throws away her chipped ceramic or nonstick pans.
The video, which has garnered nearly half a million views, shows Dr. Desai explaining to her 22,500 followers that nonstick pans can “leach millions of microplastics into our food.”
‘Microplastics are endocrine disruptors. “They can cause hormonal imbalances, fertility problems and even increase our risk of cancer,” he stated.
Dr. Poonam Desai, who practices in New York and calls herself doctoranddancer on social media, posted a video last month about why she throws away her chipped nonstick or ceramic pans.
Researchers found that a single scratch on a nonstick pan can cause millions of dangerous microparticles to enter a person’s food, exposing it to long-term damage.
The endocrine system regulates the amount of different hormones that are released in our body.
Microplastics come from a variety of sources, including larger pieces of plastic that have broken off, such as the lining of a frying pan.
Some microplastics contain perfluorinated and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS), also known as everlasting chemicals.
These are heat-resistant, adhesive particles that are used to make millions of kitchen items in the United States.
In recent years, they have been linked to various health problems, including various types of cancer, autism, and infertility.
A previous Australian study found that a single scratch on the surface of a frying pan can deposit millions of microplastics into food and homes.
The researchers used light waves to measure microscopic particles and found that just a two-inch (cm) scratch on Teflon pans, perhaps with a spatula or spoon, released up to 2.3 million microplastics.
In total, more than 9,000 plastic particles were dispersed inside the container.
Despite the health risks, there are no federal regulations in the US on the amount of PFAS allowed on the surface of manufactured products.
Dr. Desai said she also avoids using ceramic pans because “they have a layer of aluminum underneath, and the aluminum can leach into our food.”
Pure ceramic pans are generally considered a safer alternative to nonstick pans because they do not contain PFAS or any metals.
Ceramic-coated pans, on the other hand, are typically made of aluminum with a ceramic-based nonstick coating.
If particles leave the pan, they could enter the food cooked there.
Once a person eats food contaminated with PFAS chemicals, the particles will remain in the body for long periods of time as they pass out very slowly through urine.
They have been considered “forever chemicals” because they take almost a decade to break down in the body and never break down in the environment.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not set an upper limit on the maximum amount of PFAS that is safe to consume in food.
In lieu of FDA regulations, researchers recommend that people be more careful about the types of products they choose to use.