Nitrosamines can be formed in various ways in foods and other samples. For example, they can be formed through the processing of nitrite-containing meats and fish at high temperatures, especially during grilling or frying. Nitrosamines can also be formed from nitrate and nitrite additives in foods that are used as preservatives. Tobacco smoke is another common source of nitrosamines. Nitrosamines can also be formed in our digestive process due to the acidic stomach environment resulting from a reaction between nitrate and amines.
Nitrosamines can also be found in cosmetics and products made from rubber, such as latex mattresses or balloons. The occurrence in industrially manufactured products is usually subject to strict controls, and if they are contaminated with nitrosamines, this must be indicated. For example, some balloons should only be inflated with a pump for this reason. The intake through food can be reduced by frying at lower temperatures and avoiding nitrate- and nitrite-containing products.