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Wood Burning, Stir-Frying In Enclosed Spaces Linked To Cance


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Wood Burning, Stir-Frying In Enclosed Spaces Linked To Cancer Risk

November 29, 2006 4:23 p.m. EST

Shaveta Bansal - All Headline News Staff Writer

Paris, France (AHN) - Emission from wood burning or stir-frying in poorly ventilated spaces could lead to lung cancer, a study by the World Health Organization agency suggests. A group of 19 scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) looked at several previous studies involving people or lab animals and found that emissions from household combustion of coal can cause cancer in humans.

The study found the problem was more serious in developing countries where burning of wood or coal for cooking and heating is a routine task.

Although most Americans don't use solid fuels to heat their homes, frying food is more common. The emissions from high-temperature frying can be as devastating as the burning of wood and coal, researchers note.

The study estimated that about half the world's population uses wood or coal for cooking and heating, often in poorly ventilated spaces. In Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 90 percent of households use solid fuels such as wood, according to the study, while stir-frying, deep-frying and pan-frying is a common feature in East Asian countries.

"It is therefore of enormous public health importance that we call attention to the health risks of what is daily practice for so many people," Dr Peter Boyle, of the Lyon-based IARC, said in a statement.

The findings of the study are published in the December 2006, issue of The Lancet Oncology. The results will also be presented at the Society for Risk analysis annual meeting in the United States.

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