Q: "Can the vapours from cooking oil spray be harmful to the lungs if they are used all the time in cooking?"
Alice Lim, via email
A: Dr Paul Foster, professor of medicine and asthma expert at the Australian National University,A: responds:
“In a properly ventilated kitchen, you won’t have any problem with spray oils. The droplets are very large, so even if they were inhaled, they would be caught in your nose. However, when oils are heated to very high temperatures they can let off vapours which, in a poorly ventilated room, could damage the lungs. People in rural India and China (who tend to cook in small, enclosed rooms) often develop a condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which seriously affects their lung function. But the way we live and cook in Western culture, the risk is very minimal.”