A study carried out in China has highlighted the fact that hydrocarbons produced by cooking during a barbecue are also absorbed by the skin, and that the protection offered by clothing is only partially effective. Even more, apparently, the skin absorbs more hydrocarbons than the lungs.
Bad news for barbecues fans as, according to a study conducted in China, the skin absorbs more toxic substances produced by barbecue smoke than the lungs.
The hydrocarbons produced during a barbecue penetrate the skin
Summer arrived and one of the most pleasant activity during weekends is hanging out in your backyard with your friends, at a barbecue. But this practice is not without risk as barbecuing produces large amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and some of them are known carcinogens.
Now, a study carried out in China, highlighted that the hydrocarbons enter into the body through the skin. This exposure to pollutants is often underestimated but seems to carry even more weight than inhalation.
Studies have already shown that those who eat barbecue grilled meat are the most exposed to PAHs but now, following this study, it has been revealed that the skin absorbs more hydrocarbons than the lungs.
Clothes are not protecting against PAHs from barbecue smoke
According to researchers, the fats present in barbecue smoke would help make PAHs easily absorbed by the skin. Moreover, the protection offered by clothing would only be partially effective.
The researchers observed that cotton partially retained PAHs above a certain level of saturation. Thus the clothes themselves become a source of exposure to hydrocarbons and can subject the skin to higher concentrations.
However, there are several ways to reduce hydrocarbons’ harmful effects on the body. Researchers, therefore, advise to quickly wash the clothes that would have been exposed to the smokes from a barbecue, in order to avoid future exposure.
In the end, the experts consider it useless to worry too much about this exposure to hydrocarbons from barbecue smokes as long as the practice of barbecue remains moderate.