Non-stick and ceramic pans can be harmful to your health, says the expert

Don’t freak out.

Non-stick ceramic frying pans can be dangerous to your health if they’re scratched – and a social media-savvy doctor has explained why.

Dr. Poonam Desai, also known as @doctoranddancer on TikTok, received well over half a million views a recent 33-second clip titled “Pans I Don’t Use,” reminding viewers of the all-too-common problem that affects most home cooks.

“Nonstick pans that are scratched or chipped… can introduce millions of microplastics into our food,” warns the New York doctor in the video.

And wait, kitchen wizards who think that using a ceramic pan exempts them from entertaining, said the doctor.

“Ceramic pans usually have a layer of aluminum underneath and aluminum can leach into our food,” she warned.

Dr.  Poonam Desai,
Dr. Poonam Desai said that scratched ceramic and non-stick pans can be harmful to your health.
TikTok / @doctoranddancer

Microplastics are plastic parts that are less than 5 millimeters in size and nanoplastics are less than 1 micrometer in size.

“Microplastics are an endocrine disruptor,” claimed Desai. “They can cause hormonal imbalances, fertility problems and even increase our risk of cancer.”

A single scratch on a pan coated with Teflon, a synthetic plastic chemically composed of carbon and fluorine atoms, can release about 9,100 plastic particles, a reported Australian study.

And while researchers aren’t sure about the long-term negative effects of consuming aluminum, Cook’s illustrated reports that “some health authorities recommend keeping food intake as low as possible.”

Poonam Desai
Desai admits that she throws away her scratched pots.
TikTok / @doctoranddancer

A scratch in a pot can release plastic particles.
Images from –

Cast iron, stainless steel, glass and enameled cast iron pans are suitable alternatives, according to the Sustainable Living Site

Concern about microplastics has increased in recent years, with some known to be per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as forever chemicals, named for their resistance to decomposition over time. PFAS are found in typical nonstick cookware and have been blamed for several health problems. An Italian study even blamed the tiny terrors for a reduction in penis size.

But even though concerns about microplastics and PFAS are widespread, there are some There are no federal regulations in the United States on the amount of chemicals permitted on the surface of industrial goods DailyMail reports.

“The effects of exposure to low levels of PFAS in the environment on human health are uncertain.” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specified.

The Food and Drug Administration continues to actively investigate the chemical.

“Because exposure to some types of PFAS has been linked to serious health effects, we are working to better understand PFAS in food.” An FDA fact sheet explains.

“If the agency determines that PFAS levels in a particular food cause health concerns, we take action,” it said.

Dr.  Desai
She revealed several health issues related to microplastics and PFAS.
TikTok / @doctoranddancer

Desai’s TikTok video alarmed many people who use the panned pans.

“I really don’t know what to use these days,” one person sighed.

“Only doctors can afford to throw pans once a month!” joked another.

“My pans get scratched after four to five uses,” admitted one frequent cook. “If I don’t use it, I have to buy a pan every week.”

Caroline Bleakley

Caroline Bleakley is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Caroline Bleakley joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Caroline Bleakley by emailing

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