Consumer Reports: You can't always trust claims on 'non-toxic' cookware

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — Cookware makes a great holiday gift, and if you’re shopping for non-stick pans, you might notice labels saying the pans are non-toxic and made without dangerous chemicals. But can these claims be trusted?

Consumer Reports wondered the same thing and tested three recommended non-stick pans to find out. Carbon Filled Ptfe

Consumer Reports: You can't always trust claims on 'non-toxic' cookware

For decades PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals" have been widely used in nonstick cookware. But in recent years researchers have linked PFAS to a growing list of health problems, including liver damage, lower immunity in kids and certain cancers.

"Using pans with these chemicals could expose you to PFAS, especially if pans are scratched or overheated," said Kevin Loria with Consumer Reports.

Many newer non-stick pans claim to be free of some of the most widely known PFAS, including PFOA. But are they really free?

Consumer Reports tested two ceramic-coated pans, the Our Place Always Pan and the Red Copper pan, and one with a traditional nonstick coating made from PTFE, the Swiss Diamond pan, which made a PFOA-free claim.

The testing is intense, requiring hours of work by specially trained technicians using a rotating tool, scraping coatings from 30 samples of the three different pans. The samples were tested for 96 different PFAS chemicals including PFOA.

The two ceramic pans didn’t contain any of the 96 PFAS the testers looked for. It was a different story for the PTFE-coated pan.

"Our tests found that the Swiss Diamond pan had measurable amounts of PFOA and several other PFAS," Loria said.

Swiss Diamond’s U.S. distributor challenged Consumer Reports' results, saying the manufacturer had used PFOA-free raw materials since 2007 and that the high temperatures used in the coating process would remove any PFOA.

To avoid PFAS in your cookware, Consumer Reports recommends products that claim to be PTFE-free, such as pans with ceramic coatings. Uncoated pans made from carbon steel and cast iron can be good options too.

Consumer Reports: You can't always trust claims on 'non-toxic' cookware

Ptfe Liner Other ways to avoid PFAS are testing your drinking water and using a water filter certified to reduce PFAS and avoid stain-resistant clothes.