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Hidden Health Hazard in Non-stick Cookware: ESDO


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Famous non-stick cookware has become life threatening!!! It is as deadly as a poison. Non- stick cookware is made of a carcinogenic chemical which starts emitting toxic fumes. So the fumes are inhaled every time while cooking with a non-stick pot! Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO disclosed these findings through their study report entitled, “Uses of Non-stick Utensils: Associated Health and Environmental Impacts”. Syed Marghub Murshed, former Secretary and Chairperson of ESDO launched the study report at the press briefing today at its head office in Dhaka. Non-Stick cookware is the name of one of those technologies, that make our daily life comfortable and easy. But it can act as a threat to our health and environment. Cooking in non-stick cookware allows food to get brown without sticking to the pan. It requires least amount of oil for cooking. According to the study, the non-stick surface is coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commercially known as Teflon. When the cookware is over heated it releases Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOAs). PFOA has been labeled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogenic. Abu Jafor Mahmood, Superannuated Professor of Department of Chemistry, DU, said  “It is responsible for severe illness such as cancer, hormonal imbalance, birth defect in new babies, polymer fume fever in human and can kill birds. This toxic element is also released during manufacturing process and possesses risk to workers, especially female workers. Because female organs are vulnerable to this toxic element. It can be exposed to their body and cause harm to the babies through infecting the fetus”. In Bangladesh, housewives, children and pet animals are becoming the greatest victim of  the poisonous gas release from it because of the increased use of non-stick cookware. According to ESDO's recent survey, in Dhaka city, women of all ages are getting affected by this pollution. Among 450 women, about 421 are suffering from the problem of kidney and asthma. Among 378 women about 25 to 35 women are suffering from pregnancy related problem. Among children, about 310 are suffering from the problem of kidney and asthma. In case of households, (who  keep pet animals), according to the survey result , about 211 pet animals died with 6 months. This primary survey is showing this kind of destructive  picture, which is a threat to our future generation. In a pursuit to make non-stick coating manufacturing safer, industry officials of developed countries have made pledges to limit the use of PFOA and eventually phase it out of all production methods. But, there is no initiative on this issue in Bangladesh. Ceramics and stainless steel are considered non-reactive and can be used as alternative to non-stick cook ware. Syed Marghub Murshed said, toxic pollutant in non-stick cooking  utensils is a new phenomenon in Bangladesh but it can act as a serious health and environmental threat. He said that, we need to address this issue with high priority to protect our ecosystem, wildlife and human health. Secretary General of ESDO and ecosystem expert Dr. Shahriar Hossain informed that,  non-stick cookware is not the main problem. Our main concern is the toxic chemical used to manufacture it. When toxic compound like Teflon is being used in non stick coating, it becomes a threat to both health and environment.  Amongst other, Siddika Sultana, Executive Director, ESDO, were there to share their opinion about the  importance of  regulation to limit the use of Teflon in manufacturing non-stick products. Afrida Nazibah,  researcher of this study, presented the findings and related information of the study at the event.

Posted by on May 25 2017. Filed under Bangladesh Exclusive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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