Debra Lynn Dadd

Anodized cookware

QUESTION:

Is anodized cookware safe? I own all stainless steel cookware but occasionally would like to use a non-stick pan and I've been wondering about anodized aluminum. I also own a stainless steel pressure cooker and have been thinking about getting a larger anodized one but I'm not sure if they are safe.
Thank you.

POSTED BY DAWN :: MINNESOTA USA :: 09/15/2006 4:38 PM


DEBRA'S ANSWER:

Most aluminum cookware manufactured today is anodized. When a cookware label says it is made from anodized aluminum, it means that the aluminum was dipped into a hot acid bath that seals the aluminum by changing it's molecular structure. Once anodized, the aluminum will not leach into food, and so would not contribute to aluminum exposure. Anodized cookware is safe.

This information is already on my website in two different places. I'm happy to answer questions, but you can often get quicker results by searching the site first. Click on the large purple "Search" button near the top of the right hand column of any page of my website and enter "anodized" to see the other references.

Debra :-)


COMMENTS:

Hello Debra,

I got someone an anodized pan for Christmas and he has some paraketes and he was told by a women from the bird store that anodized pans are harmful to domestic birds. He may return the pan. PLease let me know.

Thank you, Ingrid

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: I've never heard this and don't see what the problem would be. Perhaps she was confusing anodized with non-stick, which is harmful to birds when heated.


POSTED BY INGRID :: NEW HAMPSHIRE USA :: 01/08/2008 10:21 AM


Hi Debra, while doing some anodized aluminum cookware research I hit upon your page. I thought you might want to update the comments a bit so decided to comment. It doesn't seem like any company is still manufacturing a NON-nonstick lined anodized set. Sometimes it's difficult to find the information, they'll talk about about it being infused, integrated, combined with, or just leave it out and only mention it in small print.

While many people have chosen to move away from PTFE the manufacturers have simply chosen to hide the details instead of making a viable alternative. Stainless is nice, but becomes quite heavy when dealing with larger sauce pans and stock pots. The same goes with enamelware which you also want to be careful of the manufacturer (Definately stick to trusted countries here) to avoid things like lead leaching into your food. Also, some manufacturers use a PTFE lining in enamel cookware.

My strong advice is for people to carefully read labels and when in down do further research online or call the manufacturer. There are MANY trade names for PTFE or Polytetrafluoroethylene. So always double-check.

-MJ

POSTED BY MJ :: PENNSYLVANIA USA :: 02/11/2008 2:13 PM


Hello Debra and MJ,

MJ stated this: "Hi Debra, while doing some anodized aluminum cookware research I hit upon your page. I thought you might want to update the comments a bit so decided to comment. It doesn't seem like any company is still manufacturing a NON-nonstick lined anodized set. Sometimes it's difficult to find the information, they'll talk about about it being infused, integrated, combined with, or just leave it out and only mention it in small print.

While many people have chosen to move away from PTFE the manufacturers have simply chosen to hide the details instead of making a viable alternative. Stainless is nice, but becomes quite heavy when dealing with larger sauce pans and stock pots. The same goes with enamelware which you also want to be careful of the manufacturer (Definately stick to trusted countries here) to avoid things like lead leaching into your food. Also, some manufacturers use a PTFE lining in enamel cookware.

My strong advice is for people to carefully read labels and when in down do further research online or call the manufacturer. There are MANY trade names for PTFE or Polytetrafluoroethylene. So always double-check."

I want to add to this- as MJ said- that it's nearly impossible to find anodized cookware that isn't either "infused anodized", or that is anodized, but has a "nonstick" surface on it. Calphalon is the specific brand my husband and I have been looking at. The Calphalon site shows that they have a plain, anodized line, but then they don't have any place on their site where you can actually buy that product, nor can we find it in any store. The site, and all the stores, sell the "infused" or "nonstick" (anodized) cookware. When the Calphalon site references to the safety of their infused or nonstick (anodized)surfaces, they direct you out of their site, to a few other sites, one of which is the Cookware Manufacturers Association (www.cookware.org) site, which then gives you an article to read- dated May 26, 2006 (which is prepared by the Nonstick Manufacturer's Group of the Fluoropolymer Division of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc.)- about the safety of nonstick cookware. On the Calphalon site, they state that their nonstick coatings are "LPS" and "LPS3", which doesn't tell you what they are (but I assume that they may be the above-mentioned PTFE- though I'm not sure). Soooo.... would either of you (or anyone else) know if the Calphalon "infused anodized" or "nonstick" (anodized) pans (and products, in general) would be "safe"? They don't hide that they use synthetic polymers. However, are they the same as the PTFE, and if not (or even, if so), are they "safe"?

Also, my husband and I are interested in the stainless steel, but we are unsure if it's "safe", based on reading different- and at times seemingly conflicting- statements on this site. I know that you (Debra) state that it "could be unsafe" because of the leaching of nickel and chromium that can occur (or does occur- even without a scratch, it sounds like- based on a Canadian report that we read on a site that someone posted on this site; it also mentions iron, as well, as another metal that leaches out), but that the amounts that would or do come out are within "normal" ranges for what is seen as "safe". So, is it a "safe" choice, or is it a situation of "it's your comfort level"?

I also want to mention that for us, anything that has to be "seasoned" would be unsafe for our family, as two children have food allergies- one having them severe and deadly- so we couldn't use anything that can't be fully and completely washed- unless we were to buy everyone their own pots and pans. So, cast-iron and soapstone are out, due to their inability to be washed well enough. We are not going to use aluminum, because of the concern about aluminum. And, glassware concerns me (for baking, at least- not for drinking or I suppose frying), due to the reports of it exploding. Copper could work, but you then have to choose either a stainless steel or tin inside, so that brings me back to the possible issue with stainless steel (and it seems that there may be concern about tin).

Thank you for any thoughts.

POSTED BY CB :: MASSACHUSETTS USA :: 02/19/2008 5:55 AM


I am glad to see this conversation because I have been going around this bush for many years. Several years ago we returned our Calphalon cooking set to the manufacturer under their warranty because they replace their cookware when it wears out.

They sent us a replacement set, their top of the line, newest product. When I walked in the door the day it arrived, the box was sitting by the entranceway. Even wrapped in layers of packing, it was off gassing a strong toxic smell. Once unwrapped it still smelled.

I started researching and could not find out what it actually was but it did have the parakeet warning. So already being a canary myself I decided to return them. We went through the laborious process of trying to get them to send us their stainless steel set, which is significantly less expensive. Eventually they did and we are OK with them though they are not great pans. I would not use the Calphalon aluminum series myself. If they are so reticent to disclose the materials, that does not bode well.

Due to my husbands Hepatitis C, we have also started looking for an alternative to cast iron, which is still my favorite. He does not want to absorb iron. After much research I have concluded that the enamel coated cast iron is the best for us. It is heavy but it cooks very well.

As for safety, I am still concerned about the imports from China. They are so tempting because they are about 1/3 the cost of Le Creuset and do a nice job. I did buy one. It has been hard to get any good info about the safety of brands like Mario Batali and La Tremontina. They both make a beautiful brand of cookware. Any information about Chinese imports? I know at one time they were unsafe but I read that has been addressed. Just don't know if I trust our government to monitor and enforce these standards.

Still Confused in Montague, MA

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: The only thing I know to do to find out about the lead is to have these cookwares tested. Have you contacted the companies themselves and asked them for a lab report showing they do not contain lead?


POSTED BY STILL CONFUSED :: MASSACHUSETTS USA :: 03/07/2008 11:11 AM


Here is my $.02 about your question about Calphalon and Stainless from much research and the use of a highly qualified muscle tester (Kinesthiologist)....the only thing that has tested strongly for myself (recovering from MCS, Lyme, etc) is the old Revere Ware pans (the ones that are actually magnetic on the inside at out---see info on Dr Mercola.com for why magnetic is best when it comes to stainless steel pans). Calphalon has never tested strongly on myself or my family...I have muscle-tested cooked food and the pan itself and all have been weak. The best pans and safest for my money are the Le Creuset pans--they are heavy and expensive, but worth it if your goals is optimal wellness.

Hope this helps!
Elizabeth

POSTED BY ELIZABETH :: DOLPHINLEADERSHIP EXECUTIVE COACHING :: WWW.DOLPHINLEADERSHIP.COM :: NORTH CAROLINA USA :: 03/07/2008 11:16 AM


I bought annodized aluminum cookware from "Ross Dept. Store". It was inexpensive and I thought would be safer. However, while the interior cooking surface has remained intact, the outer coating or surface is disintegrating. Whenever I wash it and while wet, I can literally run my fingers across the outer surface and have the gray color coating slide off on to my fingers. I have been washing them in the dishwasher and am wondering if the detergent has contributed to this? Also wondering if I should throw this out and buy something else? I am a vegetarian and purchase all organic and humane products.

POSTED BY SUZI :: OREGON USA :: 12/09/2008 1:03 AM


Chantal is also good cookware. I've had my set for a couple of years now. It's enamel coated steel. You have to be careful though and make sure you order/purchase the set that does not have the teflon coating in the frying pans. With that said, the regular frying pans do stick bad no matter what I've tried so for frying eggs or making pancakes, etc. I bought one of those newer Cuisinart Green Gourmet pans. I saw Le Creuset mentioned above and in my research they were another great enamel coated alternative. The enamel coated pans will stick some but a little soaking and occasionally baking soda if needed and they clean right up. Worth the bit of extra cleaning effort to feel good about what you are cooking in.

POSTED BY JOY :: NATURALJOYBEAUTY.COM :: WWW.NATURALJOYBEAUTY.COM :: UTAH USA :: 07/28/2009 9:11 AM


:: POST YOUR COMMENT

Return to Q&A Blog

Debra's List ~ 100s of links to 1000s of nontoxic, natural & earthwise products
Debra's Free Newsletters ~ website update, natural sweetener recipes, words of wisdom
Debra's Bookstore ~ recommended reading on health and the environment
MCS Recovery ~ resources for recovery from multiple chemical sensitivities
Sweet Savvy ~ how to choose and use natural sweetners (lots of recipes)
Talk With Debra ~ call for a personal consultation (fee)

Copyright ©2004-2007 Debra Lynn Dadd - all rights reserved.