Twitchy regulars might remember that it was just last week that a new report by the World Cancer Research Fund had determined that no amount of bacon, sausage, or alcohol could be considered safe to consume — which led many patriotic Americans to tell the WCRF they could pry the bacon from their cold, greasy hands.

So now that bacon, sausage, and alcohol are out of the picture, where do things stand for summer barbecues? It doesn’t look good — according to another study conducted in China, it’s not just eating meat that’s been grilled that’s a cancer risk; just being around barbecue smoke is bad for you … and you don’t even have to inhale it.

The Daily Meal reports that a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology says carcinogens can actually be absorbed through your skin:

Protecting yourself from billows of grill smoke isn’t so simple, if you do choose to do what you can to mitigate your risk. Wearing long sleeves and pants may help, reported LiveScience — but only for a short period of time. PAHs [polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons] quickly saturate the fibers of your clothes, according to further testing from the Chinese study. Your porous skin is then at risk for soaking up the chemicals until you change your outfit.

Your best bet for avoiding PAHs is to stay inside. If you’re the one manning the grill, the researchers recommend wearing protective clothing while you cook and changing immediately afterward.

So, all summer barbecues are off, then?


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