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Doctor reveals why you should NEVER cook using a scratched pan

WE all have a trusty pan we hang onto despite it being a little beat up.

But a doctor has warned that sentimentality when it comes to cooking implements could actually be harming your health – even putting you at risk of cancer.

Dr Poonam Desai said scratched non-stick pans can release microplastics into your food
Getty – Contributor

Dr Poonam Desai – who goes by doctoranddancer on TikTok – posted a video to the app explaining why she’s quick to throw out her scratched nonstick or ceramic pans.

The doctor said she doesn’t use non-stick pans that have sustained nicks “because they can leach millions of microplastics into our food,” in a clip that’s since garnered over half a million views.


Microplastics are tiny plastic particles, measuring smaller than five millimetres and often invisible to the naked eye.

They can result from the breakdown of larger plastics, but they’re also present in clothing and household goods.

According to Dr Desai, they are “endocrine disruptors” and “can cause hormone imbalances, fertility issues, and even increase our risk of cancer”.

Your endocrine system is a network of glands and organs located throughout the body and is responsible for responsible for regulating a range of bodily functions through the release of hormones, according to Healthline.


Pans are coated in Teflon to stop foods burning when cooking.

The heat-proof particles used to create a non-stick layer are called Per-and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) – also known as forever chemicals.

Once ingested, they can remain in your body for long periods of time, sometimes being flushed out slowly by urine.

Researchers at the University of Southern California previously linked ‘forever chemicals’ lurking on pots, pans, spoons and other household items to a common liver cancer known as non-viral hepatocellular carcinoma.


Dr Desai added that she also avoids using “ceramic pans that are scratched because they “have a layer of aluminium [that can] leech into our foods” when exposed by chips and scratches.

Pure ceramic pans are usually considered a safer alternative to nonstick pans because they do not contain PFAS or any metals.

Ceramic-coated pans, on the other hand, are usually made of aluminium with a ceramic-based non-stick coating.

“So for me, if my pan is non-stick or ceramic and scratched or chipped, I usually throw it out,” she said.


A 2020 article by USA Today claims that while some aluminium gets into food when cooked in foil or with aluminium cookware, “it is not true this causes any health effects in healthy adults”.

September 14, 2023 at 09:46PM

from The Sun

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