Are you fond of eating food cooked on barbecue? Make sure you take enough precautions as food cooked on coals or woods may give rise to risk respiratory illness or death. For the study, published in the journal American Thoracic Society, the team analysed the health records of 280,000 adults, aged 30 to 79 from 10 areas of China. The findings revealed that participants who used wood or coal for cooking were at 36 per cent higher risk than compared to those who used electricity or gas.
Researchers from the University of Oxford found that people who switched from solid fuels to clean-burning fuels reduced their risk to only 14 per cent higher than those who never cooked with wood or coal.
Solid fuels emit very high levels of pollutants especially very small particles, which have a tendency to penetrate deep into lungs.
"The increased risk of major respiratory diseases posed by burning wood or coal can be significantly lowered by switching to a clean-burning fuel", said Zhengming Chen, professor at the varsity's Nuffield Department of Population Health.
"Our findings make a compelling case to speed up the global implementation of universal access to affordable clean energy, one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals," Chen said.
Using wood, coal or other solid fuels to cook food is a common feature in several households across of low- and middle-income countries.
Nearly three billion people around the world live in households that regularly burn wood, coal or other solid fuels to feed themselves.
The participants were followed for nine years and 19,823 were either hospitalised or died following major respiratory diseases. Of these events, 10,553 were due to asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 7,324 were due to acute lower respiratory infections, most often pneumonia.
( With Inputs IANS)