Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemical compounds which are widespread organic pollutants. Some of these are carcinogens and are formed by incomplete burning of wood, coal, diesel, fat and tobacco. Tar has also PAHs

PAHs are known for their carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic properties. These are benz(a)anthracene, benz(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluroanthene, benzo(j)fluoranthene, benza(k)fluoranthene, benzo(ghi)perylene, coronene, ovalene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, and dibenz(a,h)anthracene.

The sources for the exposure include:

• Workplace exposure in industries where things are burned
• Cigarette smoke, wood smoke, automobile exhaust and smoke from agriculture wastes
• Air, water, food, traffic exhaust and soil near hazardous waste depots
• Eating grilled (fried over burning or glowing coal) meat products and processed or pickled foods
• Contaminated cow milk, drinking water and mother’s milk

The cancers caused by PAHs include lung cancer, skin cancer and stomach cancer.

There are ways to avoid the formation of PAHs and they include:

• Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke, active or passive
• Avoid open burning of tyres, garbage, burning of agricultural wastes, leaves, garden wastes and building materials
• Petrol, diesel, heating oil and motor oil should be disposed properly to prevent the water and soil contamination
• Eat less smoked fish
• Eat less grilled meat. Grilling is a form of cooking where the heat is applied from below with glowing coal. The meat or sausage is placed on a grill which is an open wire grid. The falling hot fat burns in the hot coal and this process produces PAHs. Eat with grilled meat mustard paste or gravies which contain lot of ground or in hot oil fried mustard seeds
• Instead of driving your car use the public transportation if it is possible

Whenever Germans enjoy grilling parties in the summer months they eat lot of mustard seeds paste. It is available very hot, hot, mild and even sweet paste. Meat, beef, pork, poultry and sausages are fried normally on glowing coal.

When we cook south Indian food we pour edible oil first, heat it and put the mustard seeds. They burst out and after that you continue your cooking. Here lies the secret. Mustard seeds if eaten raw cannot be broken by our digestion enzymes and are useless. That is why our intelligent forefathers started practising this method. The German way of preparing food is different and their intelligent forefathers found the mustard seeds paste.