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Techniques for Predicting Exposures to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Emitted from Cooking Processes for Cooking Workers

Category: Air Toxics

Volume: 19 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 307-317
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.09.0346

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To cite this article:
Chen, C.Y., Kuo, Y.C., Wang, S.M., Wu, K.R., Chen, Y.C. and Tsai, P.J. (2019). Techniques for Predicting Exposures to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) Emitted from Cooking Processes for Cooking Workers. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 307-317. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.09.0346.

Chun-Yu Chen1, Yu-Chieh Kuo1, Shih-Min Wang2, Kua-Rong Wu1, Yu-Cheng Chen3, Perng-Jy Tsai 1

  • 1 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70403, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, Ming Chi University of Technology, New Taipei 24301, Taiwan
  • 3 National Environmental Health Research Center, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli 35053, Taiwan


Gaseous-phase PAHs dominate total-PAH concentrations of cooking oil fumes.
No significant difference between near- and far-field PAH exposures.
The well-mixed room model is suitable for PAH exposure predictions.


Cooking oil fumes contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known to cause chronic human health effects; hence long-term exposure data is required for determining workers’ exposure profiles and the resultant health risks. However, due to both time and cost constraints, previous studies were performed on a cross-sectional basis. To date, mathematical models have been widely used for predicting long-term exposures in the industrial hygiene field. The aims of this study were to develop suitable predictive models for establishing long-term exposure data on cooking workers. The whole study was conducted in a test chamber with an exhaust hood installed 0.7 m above a deep-frying pan and operated at flow rates of 2.64–5.16 m3 min–1. The cooking process that we selected for testing used peanut oil to deep-fry chicken nuggets at 200°C. An IOM inhalable sampler and an XAD-2 tube were successively used to collect particle- and gas-phase PAHs, respectively. All of the collected samples were analyzed for 21 PAHs using a gas chromatograph (GC) with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The results showed that the emission rates of the total-PAHs in the gas-phase and the particle-phase were 1.45 × 104 and 2.14 × 102 ng min–1, respectively. The capture efficiencies of the exhaust hood for the total-PAHs were 39.1–76.5%. The resultant fugitive emission rates of the gas-phase and the particle-phase ranged from 3.41 × 103 to 8.82 × 103 and from 5.03 × 101 to 1.30 × 102 ng min–1, respectively. As no significant difference in the sampling results of the total-PAHs was detected between the chef-zone (i.e., the near zone) and the helper-zone (i.e., the far zone), the well-mixed room (WMR) model was adopted for estimating the exposures of all workers. A good correlation (y = 0.134x + 75.3; R2 = 0.860) was found between the model predicted results (x; 3.25 × 102–1.57 × 103 ng min–1) and the field sampling results (y; 1.36 × 102–2.92 × 102 ng min–1), indicating the plausibility of using the proposed approach to establish a long-term exposure databank for the cooking industry.


Cooking fumes Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Exposure assessment Model prediction

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