I have recently started to learn how to cook. Whenever I am trying to make a chapati or to cook a vegetable, I start experiencing an acute headache, most likely because of the steam or maybe the flame in burner gas stove. I am using non stick cookware. Can this be the reason for getting the headaches?

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    Is your gas stove burning cleanly (e.g., for natural gas, flame is entirely blue, maybe with a speck of yellow every once in a while; for propane, blue except for the very tip), and do you have ventilation?
    – derobert
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:01
  • @derobert I am using LPG(also referred to as propane). The flame is like a blue wave with a yellow outline on the top as you mentioned. There is a large window in the kitchen but many things including the utensils and flower-pots are kept in front of it, so it almost blocks out the air movement, so yeah it's ill-ventilated. Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 6:52

2 Answers 2


Are you using non-stick cookware?

Beware because there is a well-documented medical effect caused by the fumes released when various non-stick components are heated starting at about 300 °F (149 °C) and beyond.

Polymer fume fever

You should always have something in a non-stick pan when it is over a flame.

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    I doubt this is the cause, because onset typically occurs 4-8 hours after inhalation (according to the source you provided). I think the post implies that the symptoms are rather immediate. Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 1:16
  • Yes, I am using non-stick cookwares but does it really reach above 149 degree Celsius? For making chapati, the frying pan has to get heated, so initially I leave it on flame for sometime. Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 6:58
  • @MHH : There are some chemicals that have a slow onset initially, but subsequent exposures have a quick onset. (which I only know because of the roofing being done at my place of work last year, and the complete lack of concern about the fumes developing in some of our office ... I have no idea if teflon fumes are this way)
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 2:00
  • The ignition temperature of paper is 451 degrees Fahrenheit, or 233 degrees Celsius. Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 4:38

Well I am not 100% sure when the headache starts. Like most headache's its difficult to trace the cause. To avoid the headache you need to know where it is coming from. It happens either while your cooking or after you eaten?

If its while your cooking, it could be: 1. Heat from standing at the stove. So if you get headaches generally from heat this is probably the cause. 2. Gas leak or the smell of gas if your kitchen does not have proper ventilation. See link on this. http://en.hesperian.org/hhg/A_Community_Guide_to_Environmental_Health:Indoor_Air_Pollution

If its after you eaten: 1. It may very well be your eating habits. From only eating once a day or it could even be certain food that could trigger the headache. Also see link http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56182

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    thanks! I didn't have the privilege of upvoting the answer while posting this question. Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 13:31

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