Characteristics and health risk assessment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in restaurants in Shanghai

  • Xiqian Huang
  • Deming Han
  • Jinping ChengEmail author
  • Xiaojia Chen
  • Yong Zhou
  • Haoxiang Liao
  • Wei Dong
  • Chao Yuan
Research Article


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are important precursors of ozone and atmospheric particulates that have attracted extensive attention worldwide. Cooking emissions, the chemical characteristics of which vary dramatically due to different cooking styles, are a main source of ambient VOCs, especially in large cities. This research focused on the emission characteristics of VOCs from six types of restaurants in Shanghai: hot pot (HP), Sichuan cuisine (SC), Cantonese cuisine (CS), seafood (SF), Western fast food (WFF), and authentic Shanghai cuisine (ASC). It was found that HP, which discharged cooking fumes indoors, produced the highest mass concentration of VOCs (1900.2 ± 364.8 μg m−3), followed by SC (1403.7 ± 403.8 μg m−3), WFF (656.0 ± 156.9 μg m−3), SF (638.6 ± 145.1 μg m−3), CC (632.7 ± 127.7 μg m−3), and ASC (612.3 ± 51.3 μg m−3), the cooking fumes from which were collected by emission extraction stacks. Additionally, the VOC species from each cuisine were mainly low carbon substances. Alkanes were the major VOC pollutants from all six cuisines, accounting for 34.4–71.7%. The coefficient divergence values were 0.287–0.593, suggesting that there were differences between the cuisines in the present study. Ozone formation potential and secondary organic aerosol formation potential indicated that O-VOCs and aromatics were the largest contributors. Health risk assessment of VOCs via non-carcinogenic risk values (HQ) and carcinogenic risk values (RISK) indicated that frying, grilling, and stir-frying had relatively large impacts on human health. VOCs collected in emission extraction stacks were significantly higher risk compared with those in the indoor environment, but the RISK score of the HP restaurant was larger, second only to SC. The HQ and RISK values of 1,3-butadiene, acetaldehyde, and trichloroethylene in the HP restaurant all exceeded US EPA standards, indicating that long-term exposure in an HP restaurant would have a significant impact on human health and might carry a potential cancer risk.


Cooking emission Volatile organic compounds Ozone formation potential Secondary organic aerosol Health risk assessment Shanghai 



This study was supported financially by the Key Special Project of China Institute for Urban Governance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (No. SJTU-2019 UGBD-01) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21777094 and No. 21577090).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6881_MOESM1_ESM.docx (43 kb)
Esm 1 (DOCX 42 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiqian Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deming Han
    • 1
  • Jinping Cheng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xiaojia Chen
    • 1
  • Yong Zhou
    • 1
  • Haoxiang Liao
    • 1
  • Wei Dong
    • 3
  • Chao Yuan
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.China-UK Low Carbon CollegeShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Baosteel Engineering & Technology Group Co., Ltd.ShanghaiChina

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