Whenever we think about the detrimental effects of pollution, we imagine a haze of smog spewing out of industries or vehicles. What we do not consider is that indoor air pollution is equally damaging. Indoor pollution in kitchens has become a rising concern for the urban population. It will not be wrong to say that the indoor pollution emanating from cooking is worse than outdoor pollution because the pollutants built up in closed spaces have a greater impact on the residents.
As per the report published by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative, out of 12 lakh deaths happening because of air pollution in 2017, 5 lakh deaths happened due to poor household air quality.
The health risks are higher in rural areas due to the absence of airy and well-made Modular kitchens. Poor ventilation and use of cooking fuels such as biomass, kerosene, and cow dung that emits toxic pollutants, worsen the situation. World Health Organisation report says that the smoke from such fuel equals smoking 400 cigarettes in an hour.
Indoor pollution from cooking affects us, and we are not even aware of it! Pollution is made up of Nitrates, Sulphates, organic chemicals, metals, etc. The pollutants constituting solid particles and liquid droplets in the air comes from a gas stove. These particles react with other chemicals in the air.
Cooking produces numerous pollutants. Stoves, ovens, and toasters release ultrafine particles, and gas burners generate nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, etc. Experts from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have researched how fumes aggravate pollution inside homes. Heating oil, fat, broiling, and sautéing produce acrolein and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at high temperatures. High levels of pollutants are generated when the food gets burnt.
So, whenever you cook, pay attention to the following:
Ventilation : Maintain good airflow in your kitchen. Ensure to install a proper and efficient vent system. Thankfully, German Kitchen experts like Nobilia focus on creating open and well-ventilated kitchen designs.
Exhaust fans : Fixing exhaust fans in the kitchen will also help. Since the pandemic, people have been spending their time at home and have started installing kitchen exhaust systems in older homes. It is imperative to improve ventilation.
Keep the doors and windows open : Do not cook without opening the windows and doors of the kitchen. Even after cooking, ensure to keep the windows of your modular kitchen open for the exodus of smoke and pollutants.
Frequent inspection : A qualified technician must visit your kitchen often to inspect the signs of gas leaks and carbon monoxide emissions.
Stoves : Gas stoves are responsible for producing more NO2 compared to electric stoves. As per a study, Electric stoves decrease kitchen NO2 by 51%. Those with automatic spark ignitions can also help lower LPG leakage and chemical vapours like phosphorous in the air.
Get Modular Kitchen : If you live in an old house with a traditional kitchen design, consider replacing the same with a modern modular kitchen. The Modular kitchen is open and airy that does not trap pollutants. This is one effective way to ensure that you remain healthy and fit.
“Millions of people are exposed to air pollutants at levels that are not allowed for even outdoors”, shares Brett Singer, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Indoor pollution can be lethal and cause severe respiratory and other diseases like headaches, nausea, respiratory disease, heart or lung disease, etc. Use these tips to avoid indoor pollution and keep yourself fit forever.