Human exposure to aerosol from indoor gas stove cooking and the resulting nervous system responses
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Our knowledge of the effects of exposure to indoor ultrafine particles (sub-100 nm, #/cm3) on human brain activity is very limited. The effects of cooking ultrafine particles (UFP) on healthy adults were assessed using an electroencephalograph (EEGs) for brain response. Peak ultrafine particle concentrations were approximately 3 × 105 particle/cm3, and the average level was 1.64 × 105 particle/cm3. The average particle number emission rate (S) and the average number decay rate (a+k) for chicken frying in brain experiments were calculated to be 2.82 × 1012 (SD = 1.83 × 1012, R2 = 0.91, p = 0.0013) particles/min, 0.47 (SD = 0.30, R2 = 0.90, p < 0.0001) min−1, respectively. EEGs were recorded before and during cooking (14 min) and 30 min after the cooking sessions. The brain fast-wave band (beta) decreased during exposure, similar to people with neurodegenerative diseases. It subsequently increased to its pre-exposure condition for 70% of the study participants after 30 min. The brain slow-wave band to fast-wave band ratio (theta/beta ratio) increased during and after exposure, similar to observed behavior in early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The brain then tended to return to its normal condition within 30 min following the exposure. This study suggests that chronically exposed people to high concentrations of cooking aerosol might progress toward AD.