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Title: Health risk assessment of occupational exposure to particulate-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with Chinese, Malay and Indian cooking
Authors: Wei See, S.
Karthikeyan, S. 
Balasubramanian, R. 
Issue Date: 2006
Citation: Wei See, S., Karthikeyan, S., Balasubramanian, R. (2006). Health risk assessment of occupational exposure to particulate-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated with Chinese, Malay and Indian cooking. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 8 (3) : 369-376. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Food cooking using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has received considerable attention in recent years since it is an important source of particulate air pollution in indoor environments for non-smokers. Exposure to organic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in particles is of particular health concern since some of these compounds are suspected carcinogens. It is therefore necessary to chemically characterize the airborne particles emitted from gas cooking to assess their possible health impacts. In this work, the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and 16 priority PAHs were determined in three different ethnic commercial kitchens, specifically Chinese, Malay and Indian food stalls, where distinctive cooking methods were employed. The mass concentrations of PM2.5 and PAHs, and the fraction of PAHs in PM2.5 were the highest at the Malay stall (245.3 μg m-3, 609.0 ng m-3, and 0.25%, respectively), followed by the Chinese stall (201.6 μg m-3, 141.0 ng m -3, and 0.07%), and the Indian stall (186.9 μg m-3, 37.9 ng m-3, and 0.02%). This difference in the levels of particulate pollution among the three stalls may be attributed to the different cooking methods employed at the food stalls, the amount of food cooked, and the cooking time, although the most sensitive parameter appears to be the predominant cooking method used. Frying processes, especially deep-frying, produce more air pollutants, possibly due to the high oil temperatures used in such operations. Furthermore, it is found that frying, be it deep-frying at the Malay stall or stir-frying at the Chinese stall, gave rise to an abundance of higher molecular weight PAHs such as benzo[b]fluoranthene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene and benzo[g,h,i]perylene whereas low-temperature cooking, such as simmering at the Indian stall, has a higher concentration of lower molecular weight PAHs. In addition, the correlation matrices and diagnostic ratios of PAHs were calculated to determine the markers of gas cooking. To evaluate the potential health threat due to inhalation exposure from the indoor particulate pollution, excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) was also calculated for an exposed individual. The findings suggest that cooking fumes in the three commercial kitchens pose adverse health effects. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2006.
Source Title: Journal of Environmental Monitoring
ISSN: 14640325
DOI: 10.1039/b516173h
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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