Environmental exposure to cooking oil fumes and cervical intraepithelial neoplasm

Ming Tsang Wu, Li Hung Lee, Chi Kung Ho, Su Chu Wu, Long Yau Lin, Bi Hua Cheng, Chia Ling Liu, Chun Yuh Yang, Hsiu Ting Tsai, Trong Neng Wu

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56 Citations (Scopus)


The fumes from cooking oil, similar to cigarette smoke, contain numerous carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aromatic amines, nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, etc. In this study, we examined the association between exposure to cooking oil fumes and the risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasm. The study population in this nested case-control study consisted of women above the age of 19 years living in Chia-Yi County, located in the southwestern Taiwan, who had received pap smear screening between October, 1999, and December, 2000 (n=32,466). The potential cases were women having lesions greater than cervical intraepithelium neoplasm II (≥CIN2) reconfirmed by cervical biopsy (n=116). The potential controls (case: control=1:2) were age-matched (±2 years) and residence-matched women who had normal pap smears within 6 months of the cases. In total, 100 cases and 197 controls were completely interviewed by public health nurses about cooking methods, ventilation, and other potential risk factors. Women who cooked at home in a kitchen (n=269) without the presence of a fume extractor at least once a week between the ages of 20 and 40 had a 2.29 times higher risk [95% confidence interval (CI)=1.08-4.87] of developing cervical intraepithelial neoplasm than those who did not cook once a week in such a kitchen during the same age span, after adjusting for other potential confounders. This finding was further strengthened by the finding that women who did not use the fume extractors had a 2.47 times higher risk (95% CI=1.15-5.32) of developing cervical intraepithelial neoplasm than women who cooked in kitchens with fume extractors that were always switched on while cooking. We also found a joint protective effect of fume extractor use among women older than 40 years (n=202) if they used the extractors during both age spans of their lives, ages 20-40 and >40 years. Comparing our findings on women more than 40 years old who used fume extractors during both periods, we found a 2.05-fold greater risk (95% CI=0.86-4.86) for those who used exhaust fans during only one of the two age spans and a 3.46-fold greater risk in those who had not used an exhaust fan for either period (95% CI=1.08-11.10) (trend test, P=0.02). While exposure to cooking oil fumes may cause cervical intraepithelial neoplasm, women can be protected from this risk by always cooking in kitchens equipped with fume extractors and by keeping them on while cooking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Aromatic amines
  • Cervical intraepithelial neoplasm
  • Cooking oil fumes
  • Fume extractor
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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