Cooking a full English or stir fry ’causes indoor air pollution which could harm health’

Cooking a full English breakfast or stir fry could cause hazardous indoor air pollution, scientists have found.

Researchers from the Texas Tech and Utah State universities found hot oil sends tiny droplets of fat into the air which can be potentially dangerous when breathed in.

The microscopic droplets, formed by the reaction caused when oil meets water, then contribute to indoor air pollution, believed to kill millions each year.

In order to test their theory, scientists heated a pan of oil and recorded what happened when small amounts of water were added to the hot oil in the pan.

As the water evaporates, tiny explosions send oil droplets into the air. If the room is not ventilated properly, these small hazardous droplets can be breathed in.

According to the Daily Mail, assistant professor Jeremy Marston from Texas Tech said: “Regardless of culinary skills, most people who have used a stove top have encountered the result of water interacting with hot oil.

“We’ve discovered that a very large number of small oil droplets are released when even a single, small droplet of water comes into contact with hot oil.”

Foods with high water content were the most harmful, examples being chicken and vegetables, ingredients usually used in a stir fry.

Professor Marston said: “It’s known that millions of deaths worldwide occur due to indoor air pollution, but we don’t know yet how much cooking in poorly ventilated kitchens contributes to it.”

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