Objective: The purpose of this research is to clarify the effects of the following treatments on the elution of trace elements: water settling, 2 h boiling of water, acetic acid settling, and 2 h boiling of acetic acid in prebrushed enameled cookware, and the same four treatments after brushing the surface of enameled cookware.
Method: The eluate samples from enameled cookware subjected to the above eight treatments ware obtained, and the concentrations of the fifteen trace elements (B, Al, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Mo, Cd, Sb, Pb, and U) were simultaneously analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).
Results: The concentrations of the fifteen elements eluted from enameled cookware were low or very low after the treatments. Enameled cookware is made from iron covered with glass containing pigments. The concentrations of Al, Ni, and Sb were significantly higher (p<0.01) in almost all treatments. The concentrations of Fe, which is the base element of enameled cookware, showed almost no change. The safety level for enameled cookware are standardized at 70 ng/mL Cd and 400 ng/mL Pb. The Cd and Pb concentrations in all treatment samples were below these standard levels.
Conclusion: The results of our study and other studies conducted so far suggest that the risk of acute or chronic toxicity associated with the use of enameled cookware under normal circumstances is extremely low and negligible.