Is Ceramic Cookware Safe – Possible Dangers Of Ceramic Coated Pots And Pans

By Barbara | October 12, 2019

Learning about ceramic cookware dangers is crucial if you want to start cooking with ceramic pots and pans or if you are already doing so.

There have been many complaints over the years about cooking utensils made of toxic material or that allow harmful substances from the pans to leach into food and cause health complications. That is why users are more careful now with the cooking utensils they use in their kitchen.

This is the reason the question of safety comes up. People want to know about the dangers associated with using particular pots and pans, especially those that seem popular like the best ceramic cookware sets.

That is what we’re going to cover.

Is ceramic cookware safe?

The most common question that families ask before they invest in kitchenware is whether they are safe.

Ceramic cookware is 100% safe for use. Some pots are manufactured using materials known as PTFE and PFOA. These two are harmful and are known to cause various health problems such as testicular cancer, kidney failure and liver disease among others.

PTFE and PFOA are not used to manufacture these pots and pans. Therefore, these kitchen cooking utensils will not affect your health negatively.

This goes for 100% ceramic frying pans and those coated with it too.

According to kitchenware manufacturers, the ceramic coating ensures that the metal used to construct a skillet does not leach into the food. Thus, it is safe to use ceramic coated cooking pans. Also, the coating does not cause a chemical reaction during cooking.

Most manufacturers add a non-stick element to the kitchenware today. That brings us to the question of how safe is the non-stick coating.

You will be glad to learn that the non-stick coating isn’t constructed using carbon. The main materials used are inorganic mineral, oxygen, and silicon. Replacing carbon with inorganic mineral makes these kitchen utensils friendly to the environment.

Another thing is that the kitchen utensils save energy. This means that they spend less time in the oven and also to season. This translates to 50% less carbon dioxide emitted.

What are the Ceramic Cookware Dangers?

The dangers associated with any cooking utensil comes from leaching and that is also what to look for in ceramic pots and pans. Leaching is when the substances or materials used to manufacture kitchenware get absorbed into food while cooking.

If those substances are toxic then you are exposed to various health issues. Also, when metal from cooking utensils mixes with food, it alters the taste of your meal.

There are 100% ceramic cooking utensils and those coated with it. The pure ceramic ones are made from clay and water so there is no metal that leaches into food. This means that there is no danger in using these cooking utensils.

The coated ones are usually normal pots made from metal and then covered with ceramic. Aluminum is used to make the base of the pots to make it stronger and improve the pan’s ability to conduct heat. No toxic chemicals are involved in constructing the non-stick cooking area.

The skillets can be harmful when the coating chips off which usually happens when the pots and pans are not handled properly.

The material used to make the coat the pots is soft and when it comes off, then you are exposed to the metal underneath which may leach into food. That is why you should handle it well to avoid that especially as you use the cooking pan over time.

The brand you determine the amount of danger you expose yourself to. This is because some degrade faster than others. Once the degradation process starts, you are not protected from the metals that can get mixed into your food.

Cheaper brands with thin coated layers will expose you to leaching which is dangerous to your health. Another danger related to ceramic pans is leaching when your pots and pans are exposed to wear and tear.

The first models of ceramic utensils had a thin layer of coating and so the layer came off easily. However, newer models have more layers which translate to more protection.

Using metal utensils on ceramic can scratch the bottom part of the pan and expose the metal underneath it which can be absorbed into your food. Therefore, failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to care for the cooking utensils can put your health in danger.

While generally, ceramic kitchen utensils are safe, you might come across some that are not. The United States is strict in its attempt to get rid of harmful cookware. Therefore, American manufacturers have to adhere to strict guidelines by the FDA.

If you buy sets manufactured in the United States, you can be assured that it does not contain lead or cadmium.

Some types of food such as tomatoes also make it easy for lead and cadmium to get into food. The same happens with vinegar. If you are regularly exposed to these chemicals you can develop brain damage.

When you cook your meal using high heat, these chemicals leach into your food which can be dangerous.

Cadmium and Lead can be used to manufacture ceramic cookware or in the glazing process. Products that have high amounts of these chemicals are meant for decoration and not cooking. Unfortunately, some imported glazed ceramic cookware have exceedingly high levels of lead and cadmium in them.

Examples of countries where these pots and pans come from include China, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Ceramic cooking utensils from the United Kingdom and Japan have been found to be safe.

Are There Safe Ceramic Cookware and What Is the Safest Ceramic Cookware?

There are safe ceramic utensils and here is an example of one.

Thermolon

Very hard-anodized aluminum is used to manufacture Thermolon pots and pans. This metal is stable. The base of the cookware is designed to save energy. The pans are compatible with all cooktops.

The dangers associated with using Thermolon cookware are extremely low compared to other ceramic pots. The material is more tolerant of high temperatures and so there are less worries of it peeling and off and reacting with food.

Examples of brands that use Thermolon include GreenPan and GreenLife. Cookware from these two is extremely safe for use.

Ecolution

Ecolution is the safest ceramic cookware. Being eco-friendly is the brand’s top priority and they also contributed to a revolution of non-stick pots and pans and hence their name.

Ecolution has been known for manufacturing quality and safe kitchenware for a long time.

Their non-stick coating is not achieved from toxic materials like some cookware. Water and hydro ceramic are used to create the non-stick element. These are not only safe for your health but also friendly to the environment.

Ecolution cookware does not contain lead, PTFE or PFOA. Therefore, there is no danger in using them.

The pots and pans have glass lids which have been tempered. This makes them difficult to shatter. They also have a steam vent which makes the cooking process efficient.

Their ergonomic silicon handles are comfortable, stable and cool to the touch so there is no danger of burning yourself.

PFOA and PTFE

The terms PFOA and PTFE come up a lot when talking about cookware. PTFE is Polytetrafluoroethylene in full. It is a chemical and a combination of fluorine and carbon.

Roy Plunkett, a scientist discovered Polytetrafluoroethylene which was later called Teflon. This is the compound used on cookware to give it the non-stick quality. It is also used in the construction of other items like automobiles and electronics.

PFOA is perfluorooctanoic acid in full. PFOA is used to make non-stick pots and pans. It also helps to make carpets and fabrics stain-resistant. You should know that PFOA is used to create PTFE.

Perfluorooctanoic acid is dangerous because it remains in the environment and in our bodies for an extended period.

There are various ways in which humans are exposed to PFOA. These include using PFOA contaminated water, working in places that use the chemical to manufacture various items and through cookware.

PFOA burns off during cooking and humans breathe in the fumes which are toxic.

According to health studies, one is more susceptible to developing liver disease, blood pressure problems, high cholesterol, cancer (kidney, testicular and bladder) and thyroid illness when he or she comes in contact with PFOA.

Safety of ceramic compared to other cookware materials

There are many different cookware materials. However, solid ceramic cookware is the safest of them all.

Aluminum leaches into food and gets into your body. Therefore, aluminum pots and pans carry that risk. High levels of aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s Disease and cancers related to estrogen levels and an example is breast cancer.

Copper cookware has both copper and nickel (used to make the coating) and these get absorbed into the food while cooking.

Pots and pans manufactured from cast iron can expose one to stress, oxidation, and illness. This is because iron gets into food.

The chromium, nickel, and iron used in constructing stainless steel cooking utensils also get mixed up with food.

Lead is sometimes used in the construction of pots and pans made from enamel, glass, and ceramic. However, the FDA and California Prop 65 are in charge of regulating the amount of lead used. Therefore, USA manufactured ceramic cookware do not have high levels of lead in them.

Conclusion

Ceramic cookware sets have received a lot of praise over the years for being safer than the traditional cookware. It is therefore normal to be curious about ceramic cookware dangers.

We have established that these cooking utensils are majorly safe for use. The dangers come in the form of brands manufactured without adhering to the set guidelines such as though with high levels of lead and cadmium.

Also, when pans start to chip because of continuous use, having a thin layer of coated (for cheap quality ones) or because of not taking good care of them then they become dangerous because they allow leaching.

When you buy a good quality set from a reputable company and care well for it, you will not experience any danger with ceramic pots and pans.