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Non Stick Chemicals Linked to Higher Cholesterol in Kids

By Heather Turgeon |

non stick pans linked to higher cholesterol levels

Non stick chemicals could up cholesterol

Today the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine reports that the chemicals in “non-stick” pans and stain resistant fabrics are associated with higher cholesterol in children ages 1 to 18.

The chemicals used to make omelets easy to flip and carpets safe from spills are called Perflurochemicals (PFCs). Specifically, the scientists tested levels of  perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as Teflon, and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), which was used as the primary ingredient in Scotchgard until it was phased out in 2000.

Why would Teflon and stain proofing chemicals raise cholesterol levels?

The two chemicals are considered to be “endocrine disruptors”, which means that they affect hormones in the body. The study looked at 12,000 kids and the chemicals were linked to an increase in up to 10 mg/dL. An acceptable level of total cholesterol in children is less than 170 mg/dL.

This study found a correlation between kids with higher levels of the chemicals in their blood and higher cholesterol, but it doesn’t prove that the chemicals actually caused the increase. It’s a line of research that will continue.

If you use teflon pans, definitely use a wooden spoon or teflon spatula to cook, because a metal utensil can scrape off the non-stick material and it ends up in food.

Image: Flickr/jules stonesoup

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About Heather Turgeon


Heather Turgeon

Heather Turgeon is currently writing the book The Happy Sleeper (Penguin, 2014). She's a therapist-turned-writer who authors the Science of Kids column for Babble. A northeasterner at heart, Heather lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two little ones. Read bio and latest posts → Read Heather's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Non Stick Chemicals Linked to Higher Cholesterol in Kids

  1. [...] Non Stick Chemicals Linked to Higher Cholesterol in Kids [...]

  2. Ross4Teflon says:

    Because there’s so much misinformation out there about Teflon, I’m not surprised that you are concerned. I’m a representative of DuPont though, and hope you’ll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    In reference to your post, the study observed a correlation between PFOA and PFOS and cholesterol levels, but as noted by the authors, the study cannot determine whether elevated PFOA and/or PFOS levels caused the observed higher cholesterol levels, or whether there is another explanation. Based on extensive health and toxicological studies, DuPont believes that PFOA exposure does not pose a health risk to the general public.

  3. [...] (Non Stick Pans LInked to Higher Cholesterol in Kids) [...]

  4. [...] Non Stick Chemicals Linked to Higher Cholesterol in Kids [...]

  5. [...] Non Stick Chemicals Linked to Higher Cholesterol in Kids [...]

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