Vapors from cooking and burning candles can be hazardous to your health. They are especially dangerous for asthmatics. See what they threaten.
During cooking, baking or frying, and even burning ordinary candles, many gases and compounds are produced that negatively affect the air quality in the house or apartment. These are mainly polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This is a large group of chemicals. Each of them consists of several (up to seven) conjugated aromatic rings. These compounds are inhaled by humans. In this way, they enter the body, impair lung function and reduce the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, as well as brain activity.
Researchers at Aarhus University decided to take a closer look at how exposure to PAH particles in cooking fumes affects the respiratory system of young adults (aged 18 to 25) with mild asthma. They carried out a series of experiments involving 36 volunteers. First, study participants were exposed to cooking fumes and burning candles for about five hours. Then they breathed clean air.
Fumes from cooking and burning candles and asthma
Analyzes conducted by Danish experts have shown that inhalation of fumes from cooking or burning candles can exacerbate asthma symptoms, as well as lead to damage to the structure of the body’s cells (especially their DNA). What’s more, exposure to these pollutants increases the risk of inflammation, the development of various diseases in the respiratory system, as well as cancer. The study focused on young people with asthma, but as Karin Rosenkilde Laursen, one of the authors of the experiment, admits, its results can be applied to a much wider population:
We have observed that even very young people with mild asthma can experience discomfort and the negative impact of air pollution if the room they are in is not properly ventilated when cooking or burning candles. This is a very worrying finding, given that this group of people is generally more fit and resilient than middle-aged adults or seniors. Therefore, everyone should learn from this study.
Winter is coming. During this period, we light candles more often and open the windows less often, which may favor the occurrence of lung diseases or cancer diseases. Therefore, it is worth not losing vigilance and taking care of proper ventilation of the rooms in the house or apartment.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory system. It causes uncontrollable bronchial spasms. The main symptoms of the disease include: shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, paroxysmal, dry cough and wheezing. These symptoms may vary in severity. In the event of acute attacks, the patient often requires hospitalization. Treatment is aimed at minimizing symptoms and reducing the risk of flare-ups.