Published studies demonstrate quite clearly the health risk of cooking. Thiebaud (1995) indicated that the fumes generated by frying pork and beef were mutagenic. Hence, chefs are exposed to relatively high levels of airborne mutagens and carcinogens. Vainiotalo (1993) carried out measurements at eight workplaces. The survey confirmed that cooking fumes contain hazardous components. It also indicated that kitchen workers may be exposed to relatively high concentrations of airborne impurities.
Although cigarette smoking is considered to be the most important cause of lung cancer, smoking behavior cannot fully explain the epidemiological characteristics of lung cancer among Asian women, who rarely smoke but contract lung cancer relatively often. Ng (1993) found that over 97% of the women in Singapore do not smoke. Thus, the presumable sources of indoor air pollution for housewives are passive smoking and cooking. This study indicated that greater relative odds of respiratory symptoms were associated with the weekly frequency of gas cooking. A statistical link with chronic coughs, phlegm and breathlessness on exertion was also found.
These previous studies depict the importance of well-designed ventilation in the kitchen.