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A 49-year-old male asked:

Why do charcoal fumes/burn off make me sick? get real sick from the smell of charcoal, cat eat anythig cooked on coal burning grill. i get serveal headaches/stomaches, real nervous, hives, laying in a fetus position, shaking, can't think straight. is thei

4 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Charcoal : Charcoal grills produce poisonous carbon monoxide gas. When meats are cooked on a grill; fat drips onto the charcoal & form polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pahs). Pahs rise with the smoke and are absorbed in the meat as well as being inhaled. Heterocyclic amines (hca’s) form in meat due to the heat of grilling. These substances are toxic. Charcoal contains coal dust and limestone which become airborne and can be inhaled. Allergic symptoms for charcoal include: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. As previously stated if you allergic, you need to avoid what you are allergic to.
Dr. Marvin Den
Internal Medicine 45 years experience
This : This may be less an allergy as a sensitivity to the fumes or by products of the grilling process. See your physician or an occupational specialist who would know more about your exact exposure.In any event -avoidance may be the only answer.
Dr. Allen Seely
General Practice 31 years experience
Answer: : Answer: don't know i am sorry we don't have a cure for many hyper-sensitivites --(things that cause us allergy or 'make us sick') our only advice is avoidance of those things. I guess you have to cook on gas, sorry on a personal note: i can't eat sunflower seeds or (anything) buckwheat. I too, get into fetal position with these 2 exposures, so I have learned to avoid them.
Dr. Powlin Manuel
Allergy and Immunology 51 years experience
Charcoal : Charcoal fumes may cause irritation of the air way. If you suffer from reactive airway disease, your airway reacts with decrease in diameter, decrease in airflow, decrease in oxygen intake and feeling of sickness. Powlin v. Manuel md, mba, ms.

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Last updated Jan 9, 2021

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