There are many lovers of outdoor Bar-B-Que events who use charcoal BBQ grills and they get concerned about its safety. You could have seen or heard warnings about the presence of carcinogens that get released by briquettes when they burn and you are wondering whether it is safe for you and you visitors to breathe in the smell coming from the charcoal BBQ grill.
There are two important issues that you need to get concerned about regarding BBQ grills. The first major issue concerns the fact that charcoal and wood produce hydrocarbons and soot particles that not only pollute the air but could also aggravate lung and heart problems. Besides that, when meat is grilled it can easily form two compounds which are potentially carcinogenic: heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are formed when the fat from your meat drops in the charcoal and rise with the smoke to be deposited back on the meat or when the meat becomes charred. The longer the meat cooks or the higher the temperature the more the HCAs that are formed.
Environmental scientists are advising that when you ‘live and breathe barbeque there are high chances that you are injuring your personal health. There are many studies that indicate the presence of microscopic pieces of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the atmosphere that come as a result of meat cooked in outdoor kitchens. Charcoal and briquettes contribute to air pollution. Lump charcoal that is used to add flavor to meat is made from charred wood also contributes a great deal to deforestation and the greenhouse gases filing the atmosphere. While briquettes may be a little beneficial because they are mad partly from sawdust and waste wood, there are brands that have coal dust, limestone, sodium nitrate, borax and starch.
The use of charcoal is now restricted in most parts of the world as a hazardous product. This is the reason some bags of charcoal briquettes that you buy will have a warning that it is a potentially hazardous product. While this may not yet be the case in your locality, the truth is that it could be coming to your area sooner or later. It is therefore important for people hosting outdoor Bar-B-Que parties and using charcoal BBQ grills to prepare their meat to do everything possible to avoid exposure to additives that could be potentially harmful.
You need to stick to those charcoal brands that are natural and don’t have any dangerous additives. Look for charcoal brands that are 100% natural; natural hardwood charcoal doesn’t contain oil, limestone, coal, starch, saw dust or any petroleum products. As much as possible use those brands that are certified as Smart Wood products by the Rainforest Alliance as proof that they were harvested sustainably.