Steak cooked over gas ‘increases chances of cancer’

Frying meat on a gas hob has been found to increase the likelihood of people developing cancer.

Researchers found that there were more fumes when cooking a steak using gas than with an electric hob.

The fine and ultra-fine particles in the fumes were examined by scientists and were found to contain mutagenic aldehydes and heterocyclic amines, both judged ‘probably carcinogenic’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, have surmised that the higher temperature of gas leads to more potentially harmful oil breakdown products, while a gas flame may create finer particles.

In the study experts fried 17 steak pieces for 15 minutes on both gas and electric hobs, using margarine and soya bean oil.

Dr Deborah Jarvis, of the National Heart and Lung Institute, commented: “The health message to the public remains the same - keep your kitchen well-ventilated when cooking, and make sure all your gas appliances are well maintained.”

The findings were published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal.

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