Sales of slow cookers (trade name Crock-Pot) are booming.
And it’s not tough to see why; they provide a cost-effective way to cook food and can provide huge time savings for those too busy to keep an eye on a conventional pot and stove.
But you might be surprised to learn that, as awesome as slow cookers might seem, some of them actually contain a dangerous chemical that could be slowly poisoning your family.
A mother from Weber County in Utah was the first to ring the alarm bell after she took her Rival brand slow cooker to be tested for lead contamination. It came back positive.
She then contacted Salt Lake City KUTV’s Bill Gebhardt, who began his own investigated.
What he found was alarming.
Not only do slow cooker inserts made from glazed ceramic contain an alarming amount of lead – they also begin to leak this lead at a terrifying rate when heated.
How Manufacturers Get Away With It
Many offending slow cookers come with documentation that insists the levels of lead found therein are in accordance with government standards.
But health experts laugh at this suggestion – that there’s any ‘safe’ amount of lead for the human body to be exposed to.
Duke University researchers found that even those who ingested small amounts of lead faced risks such as decreased mental performance.
One study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that kids are especially at risk of damage from even low-level lead poisoning.
What’s more, the FDA standards for lead levels in products fail to take into account how much lead is leeched into food when pressure cookers are heated.
At 80º, these levels are 10 times greater than when the slow cooker is not heated.
Dangers of Lead Poisoning
In addition to the risks lead poisoning poses to mental functioning, the following effects have been noted:
- Hearing damage
- Nervous system and kidney damage
- Decreased muscle and bone growth
- Harm to a fetus
- Fertility problems (in both genders)
- Digestive system problems
- Joint pain