Inhalation risk to PAHs and BTEX during barbecuing: The role of fuel/food type and route of exposure

Artur Jerzy Badyda, Wioletta Rogula-Kozłowska, G Majewski, Karolina Bralewska, Kamila Widziewicz-Rzońca, Barbara Piekarska, Mariusz Rogulski, Jan S. Bihałowicz

The manuscript presents an innovative and holistic approach to quantifying PAHs and BTEX emissions from the grilling process and indicates a novel driven–toxicity-based solution to recognize health effects related to BBQ emissions. The exposure scenario includes the type of grilling device, food type, and individual attitudes, but also a keen understanding of the broad health implications related to the gaseous/particulate PAHs emission, or age-related effects. The calculated incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) associated with the exposure to PAH congeners and BTEX indicates an unacceptable level in the case of charcoal and briquette grilling with the highest values for professional cooks. The sum of 15 PAH concentrations in grilled foods was highest for meat grilling over charcoal briquettes – 382,020.39 ng/m3 and lowest for meat grilling on a gas grill – 1442.16 ng/m3. The emissions of BTEX from lump charcoal grilling were 130 times higher compared to the gaseous grill. In all considered scenarios lump-charcoal and charcoal briquettes grilling derive the ILCR above the 10−4, indicating negative effects of traditional grills on human health. The paper completes knowledge of wide-ranging health implications associated with BBQs, a topic that is almost completely unaddressed among the scientific community and policymakers.

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