Q: Does anyone suffer from reactions to cooking smells? Things like curried sausages, spicy beans, curry, casserole, etc. My husband does a cook up once or twice a week and our son has been wetting the bed 3 days later. I also get quite snippy and congested and struggle with sleep after he cooks these things. It’s doing my head in! Just wish hubby would let me know in advance so I can take the kids out til the smell clears 🤦♀️ - Annie

Very much YES, say members!

I react to cooking fumes. Affects my breathing and I get really itchy. Usually frying foods is my trigger. I think it the volatile components of overheated cooking fats. We don’t use vegetable oils, but even burnt beef tallow or butter will affect me – Terri

I react to cooking smells from olive oil and Ghee or butter, if it is heated too high and produce fumes and lingering odours. Eyes swells, breathing affected too, sometimes even headaches. Had an anaphylactic after entering a fish shop (UK), strong smells of cooking oil. Reaction...eyes, face swelling, then upper airway closing. Terrifying! - Mike

My husband cooks his food either on the BBQ or in the convection oven we have for him outside in the garage or on the deck! – Sarah

I actually feel sick when my hubby cooks foods like that … my reaction is immediate - Lucy

Yes ... some food smells make me feel like vomiting - Deb

I feel your pain! These smells have just destroyed our house this morning. My 7 yr old is bawling in the kitchen and I’ve been shouting at my husband every time he looks at me. It’s diabolical. He just rolls his eyes and says ‘you’re overreacting’😡😡😡😡 - Doreen

Right now I'm having a severe relapse of my seizure disorder because someone in the house fried peppers without washing them first. Making sure conventional peppers get washed makes a big difference. I lived on an apple orchard for about 8 years as a kid and the organophosphate pesticides exposure really screwed me. - Robin

YES! My son's girlfriend is vegan and cooks with spices most days and it makes me really sick. Effect on me is immediate. She knows, just doesn't believe me. I go sit outside or in my room with the door shut until the smell goes away. Very inconvenient – Shell

Sometimes during my life, smells from cooking onions, tomatoes and pork have made me react on a spectrum of churning tummy to throwing up. I take it as a warning to forget about eating that food for a period of time. Currently I am fine with some sources of pork. I have not tested as allergic or sensitive to any of those foods – Jane

My 3 kids and I get sick if we are exposed to cooking smells. Migraines, digestive symptoms, burning in sinuses and eyes - Eve

Yes definitely. Our daughter reacts to inhalants. Spices, perfumes petrol deodorants ... the list is long - Charlie

Everyone should avoid curry. It's probably the highest sal food on earth. If high fruits are 5 or 6 sals, curry is 250. It's off the charts - Joan

You need a really good kitchen exhaust to the outside & all prep work needs to be done close to the fan. Makes a huge difference. Some oil splatter will still occur & need to be cleaned from all nearby surfaces afterwards. Moved toaster outside for a few years, but brought back in after fixing exhaust fan. Also I shake out crumbs every time he uses it. Big improvement to our relationship! - Sue

Garlic is a big reactor for me as well as the spice etc - Michelle

Yes absolutely. The food doesn't even have to be cooked. My partner's orange rind in the compost bin under the sink makes me ill - Sam

Cooking onion in our house is an absolute no no! I scratch my whole face off, even with the exhaust fan up high - Linda

Thank you all for the replies! My husband rolls his eyes when I say that the food is causing our reactions and I get even more upset. I’m really grateful to hear from you all and know it’s not just me 🙏🏻❤️

See factsheet on inhaled salicylates

For failsafers with fragrance sensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue and/or fibromyalgia see blog https://fedup.com.au/sues-blog/not-all-in-your-head and https://fedup.com.au/sues-blog/chemical-sensitivity-increasing-study

(Howard comment: cooking oil fumes contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heterocyclic aromatic amines, benzene, and formaldehyde which may cause oxidative damages to DNA and lipids. Cooking oil fumes may affect bronchitis (eg 2018 https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5146-x) but there are many medical reports of longer-term harm too (eg https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4029104/ and https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147651321005753))