The Guardian recently published a report on how cooking roasted meals that involved roasted food can amp up the indoor air pollution that can be more harmful than most of the polluted cities in India. The article especially noted how these roasted meals cause more pollution than the Indian Capital – Delhi. Researches have recently come to the conclusion that roasting meat and vegetable by using gas hobs releases fine particles that are dirtier and more harmful than the air that Delhi is breathing right now.
Pm2.5 particulates in a house that is roasting vegetables, meat that has an excess of fat and oils can produce 13 times more harmful air than the highest peak of indoor pollution witnessed in any European Country. Moreover, this dirty air can last in the household for more than an hour.
A recent study that was conducted by researches at the University of Colorado Boulder has insisted on the fact that basic household tasks such as boiling water or even cooking yourself a small meal for dinner increases the Air Pollution of the house greatly. This kind of air pollution is especially harmful because there’s no running away from it. Marina Vance, Assistant Professor at the varsity recently talked about how homes have never been considered as an important source of air pollution and how it’s the right time to get the communication about the same flowing.
Marina in one of her reports has suggested that people need to be more careful while cooking and cleaning the house. She has also advised people to open windows and use extractor hoods to ventilate the house when the cooking is in process. Particulate Matter that can be smaller than 2.5 micrometers can simply seep into the bloodstream building their own little disastrous home in the liver, heart or the brain. They not only cause chronic health problems but can also lead to distress, mental illness and depression.
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The reports are a part of an experiment that Vance and her comprehensive team of researches underwent. They initiated the experiment by taking up a three-bedroom house fitted with indoor and outdoor air monitors. They followed it up by cooking a series of meals on the occasion of Thanksgiving that included – Roasting turkey, Brussel sprouts, boiled sweet potatoes, bread stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
The experiment which was conducted in Austin, Texas usually averages a 15 microgram per cubic meter AQI, couldn’t possibly be ready to understand that the Air during the day of cooking was extremely abrasive. The PM2.5 levels rose to a high of 200 micrograms per cubic meter for more than an hour or so. The researches funnily stated that this was worse than the average AQI in Delhi – The sixth most polluted city in the world.
The study ranked the Indoor Air Quality of the apartment as “unhealthy” or “very unhealthy” for nearly two hours. Also, the levels in the apartment were above the 10-micrometer pollutant level set by the WHO for more than 8 hours straight. The cooking that was done on a raving gas flame produced a large chunk of soot particles. The other dirt particles came from animal fat, cooking oils, the stuck soot on the ovens and spots on pans used in making the meal.
Vance has advised people to make sure that they open their windows when cooking a heavy meal. She also suggested about kitchen extractors that can help remove all the invisible air pollution that can cause problems. However, she also mentioned that only taking these few measures like switching on fans would eventually help control this type of pollution. She just insisted that roasting should be done only when absolutely necessary. Boiling food and eating would be the best possible solution but who’s really listening when delicacy is concerned?