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Clearya and Ecology Center partner to help online shoppers find cookware without toxic coating

Clearya and Ecology Center partner to help online shoppers find cookware without toxic coating

Cooking and baking pans tested positive for PFAS by the Ecology Center are now flagged by the Clearya browser plugin and mobile app while shopping online

We already know that we should read the label before buying the product (and if you need some help with that Clearya is there for you). But what about products that don’t come with an ingredient list? Toxic contaminants are occasionally found in lab testing of furniture, kitchenware, kids toys, and even menstrual products, but that information isn’t always available to consumers when they need it the most: while shopping.

That’s why we’re so happy that Clearya has partnered with Ecology Center and its HealthyStuff Lab: we now provide consumers seamless access to lab test results while shopping online on shops like Amazon and Walmart, through the Clearya app and browser plugin.

Founded in 1970, the Ecology Center is a Michigan-based, nonprofit environmental organization working locally, regionally and nationally for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play. Ecology Center's HealthyStuff Lab is a national leader in testing products and disclosing information on hazardous chemicals in consumer products. The Ecology Center team believes that the central question of our time is how human beings are going to thrive in the world without destroying the earth's ability to sustain us. We couldn’t agree more!

We kicked off this collaboration focusing on one of the most concerning chemicals: PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS is a group of man-made chemicals found in everyday items, from pizza boxes to stain repellents. Some PFAS may contribute to liver disease, increased cholesterol, impaired response to vaccines, thyroid disease, asthma, lowered fertility, and high blood pressure in pregnant women. Elevated risk of testicular and kidney cancer have been found in highly exposed people [1]. PFAS chemicals can contaminate the environment during the manufacturing, use and disposal of the products that contain them. Unfortunately, PFAS are extremely persistent in the environment and our bodies, meaning that they do not break down easily and accumulate with time - no wonder they are infamously nicknamed “forever chemicals”. That’s how PFAS could pollute drinking water when they spread in the environment, as happened in Rockford MI, Fayetteville NC, Decatur AL and in other places.

Despite all this concerning data, PFAS is still in use in many nonstick cooking pans and some baking pans. These products are typically coated with PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), a fluoropolymer made from PFAS.

The Ecology Center tested 14 nonstick cooking pans and 10 nonstick baking pans to identify their coatings. Here are some highlights from their recent study, “What’s Cooking? PFAS and Other Chemical Hazards in Nonstick Cooking and Baking Pans”:

  • 77% of the cooking pans were PTFE-coated, a fluoropolymer made from PFAS.
  • 20% of the baking pans were PTFE-coated.
  • In some cases, product claims on the packaging, like “PFOA-free”, could lead buyers to purchase PFAS-coated pans when they think they’re buying an alternative.
  • Some of the alternatives may also be hazardous. Surprisingly, undisclosed BPA-based coatings were found on two of the baking pans and one of the cooking pans. BPA (bisphenol A) is a hormone disruptor which may harm the female reproductive system, among other adverse effects [2].

Safer, more durable alternatives are readily available and provide good cooking performance. The Ecology Center suggests opting for uncoated pans made from cast iron, stainless steel or glass.

Report data is now available while shopping

When you shop online for cookware and bakeware at Amazon and Walmart on your computer or mobile phone, Clearya now automatically flags products in case their coating tested positive for PFAS or BPA according to the Ecology Center’s report. Download the Clearya iPhone app, Android app, or Chrome extension (for shopping from your computer) and try it out!

That’s in addition to online safety notifications for beauty, personal care, baby care and cleaning products for which Clearya analyzes the product ingredient list published by the retailer. In those product categories Clearya verifies that the listed ingredients are not toxic by matching them to thousands of harmful chemicals identified by scientists and regulators. Clearya’s sources include authoritative hazard lists by the European cosmetics regulation, California EPA, US Dept. of Health, and others. The Clearya app notifies you immediately when a chemical of concern is spotted so you can consider switching to products with safer ingredients instead.

A call for environmental health groups

“The Ecology Center is excited to partner with Clearya to make our product testing data widely available to shoppers,” stated Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center. “Clearya’s innovative online application is one of the best tools available for identifying hazards in consumer products.”

The pioneering collaboration with Ecology Center is leading the way for additional laboratories and environmental health groups which we’re inviting to join forces with us. In 2021 we’ll be making more product test results as accessible and actionable as possible for consumers. If you’re part of an organization that has reliable product testing data, let’s work together and make your lab testing results available to online shoppers, guiding them in their journey to healthier living.

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Disclaimer: the content in this blog post is provided for general information, and does not substitute any medical advice by your own doctor or another health care professional. Contact for questions or comments.


  1. U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Toxicological profile for Perfluoroalkyls, Draft for Public Comment, June 2018. Accessed Sep 2020.
  2. The California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Proposition 65 Warnings for Bisphenol A (BPA), updated: 9/2019.