A chemical called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emerges as a result of contact of fats dripping from meat during cooking, with coal. This chemical rises into the air in the form of grill smoke, and people who breathe smoke inhale these toxic substances.
It is stated by the Anatolia Medical Center Chest Diseases department that healthy individuals exposed to barbecue smoke for a long time may cause blockages in the inner surface of the lung, as in smoking.
It has also been noted that exposure to barbecue fumes in individuals with underlying lung disease may lead to diseases such as asthma, COPD, and exposure to barbecue smoke in individuals with lung disease, even for a short time, may lead to an asthma attack or exacerbation of COPD.
The relationship between PAHs and cancer for the first time in 1775 in England. It was in Bartholomew’s Hospital that surgeon Percivall Pott noticed that chimney cleaning workers got testicular cancer because of the desire on their skin. Then, as a result of the observations made in Germany and Scotland 100 years later, Pott’s observation was confirmed. (Luch et al., 2005). In studies on laboratory animals and humans, chemicals such as oil, tar, soot, smoke have been found to be rich sources of PAH (Douben, 2003).
PAHs are tumour-initiating and triggering compounds. In studies conducted on animals, it was observed that the subjects exposed to PAH in the short or long term had problems in their immune system and body fluids. In addition, symptoms of lung, bladder and skin cancers were detected in these equivalents. Pregnant mice exposed to high amounts of PAH had birth difficulties, and there were symptoms such as birth defects and low weight births in the offspring of these mice. Similar problems may occur for humans, but no study confirming this has been done (ATSDR, 1995).
As a result, it has been scientifically proven that inhaling grill smoke invites many diseases. Both the employees in the cooking spaces and the people living in an environment where the smoke is thrown are in the risk group because they breathe the smoke.