Cooking oil fumes and lung cancer: a review of the literature in the context of the U.S. population

J Immigr Minor Health. 2013 Jun;15(3):646-52. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9651-1.


There is growing evidence that exposure to cooking oil fumes (COF) is linked to lung cancer. Existing literature on this risk was reviewed, specifically as it may relate to potentially at-risk populations such as Chinese immigrants and restaurant workers in the United States. Studies were identified by searching the NCBI database with key terms. All studies that examined the significance, prevalence, and/or mechanism(s) of the association between COF exposure and cancer (all types) were included. A majority of epidemiologic studies found associations between lung cancer and COF exposure. All studies that examined the mechanisms underlying the risk found evidence for mutagenic and/or carcinogenic compounds in COF extract and/or molecular mechanisms for COF-induced DNA damage or carcinogenesis. The evidence reviewed underscores the need to thoroughly investigate the association among at-risk groups in the United States, as well as to develop and assess concrete interventions to reduce these risks.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Asian
  • Cooking*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Plant Oils / toxicity*
  • Smoke / adverse effects*
  • United States


  • Plant Oils
  • Smoke