Sunday, August 29, 2010

Non-stick pans can affect our hormones, new research suggests

Norwegian study highlights the effects of PFC and PCB chemicals on human health.

A group of chemicals found in common household items may be having dangerous effects on our hormones, new research suggests. A study on sheep and cells grown in the laboratory by Norwegian vets found that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) found in water resistant clothes and non-stick frying pans can affect the body's steroid hormones including oestrogen, testosterone and cortisol. These hormones are necessary for regulating a number of bodily functions in humans and animals, including our ability to reproduce.

The research also discovered similar effects caused by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a group of chemicals that have been banned since the 1970s but continue to persist in the environment.

Limit exposure

Study author Dr. Marianne Kraugerud, from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, said consumers could limit their exposure to both chemicals.
'To regulate uptake of PFCs, one could try to limit the use of clothes treated with water and grease repellent containing PFCs.

'It may also be wise to use cookware coated with non-stick "Teflon"-type coatings with care, especially when damaged. Alternatively, one may consider going back to the good old-fashioned cast iron frying pan,' she said.

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