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Environment

Burnt Toast May Be More Toxic Than Traffic Fumes

1 year ago

3350  0
Posted on Feb 18, 2019, 10 p.m.

University of Texas researchers have found burnt toast to be especially harmful, and suggest to always go for the light golden colour, as published in the journal Atmosphere.

A mockup of a three bedroom home was built and equipped with monitors to assess how everyday activities impact air quality; frying and roasting was found to be toxic along with the impacts of toasters that sent toxic particles into the air the moment they are turned on.

During the toaster testing when the heating elements warmed up so did the debris and gunk in the toaster including oils as well as the bread to emit a range of things such as ethanol, which is a byproduct of yeast. Other pollutants such as cleaning agents, household sprays, and air purifiers can give off scent when plugged into a socket; scented candles and wood burning stoves were also found to be strong in house polluters.

W.H.O recommends that air should not contain more than 25 micrograms of fine particulates. When bread was toasted to the golden point particle concentrations in the surrounding air surge were found to be between 300-400 micrograms per cubic metre; dark brown yielded particles to 3000-4000 micrograms per cubic metre which is more than 150 times the W.H.O limit.

In central London one of the highest levels of pollution in the country can be found at the Marylebone Road which was double the limit of 200 micrograms on 38 occasions in 2017 according to King’s College.

Most people do not think of indoor air pollution, according to Jonathan Grigg the team hopes this research is a wake up call to everyone on the risks posed by toasters and indoor air pollution.

The FSA has issued a public warning over the risks of acrylamide compounds that form in some foods when they are cooked at high temperatures, which can be found in cereals, potato chips, biscuits, coffee, black olives, cooked pizza bases, and cereal based baby foods. Once they have been fried or roasted to darker brown or extra crispy root vegetables such as turnip, parsnips, beetroot, swede, sweet potatoes, and potatoes can carry high levels of acrylamide as well, which have been shown to cause neurological damage in animal studies. The US EPA has said that acrylamide is likely to be carcinogenic to humans, and IARC-W.H.O says it is a probable human carcinogen.

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