Fine dust from cooking

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Fine dust from cooking

British research from 2012 shows that more people worldwide die from exposure to particulate matter indoors than from exposure to particulate matter outdoors.

More people are now dying from particulate matter indoors than outside!

169 lung doctors and the Dutch Lung Foundation have asked the government to take measures against air pollution. Far too many people get sick or worse from the increasingly polluted air they breathe. Particulate matter causes major problems. British research from 2012 shows that more people worldwide die from exposure to particulate matter indoors than from exposure to particulate matter outdoors.

The most important indoor sources are coal and wood fires that are used for cooking. But other sources such as candles, deodorants and other cosmetics that are sprayed into the air also contribute to an increased fine dust content indoor.

People spend most of their time indoors (more than 90%) and they are mainly exposed to particulate matter here. The majority of that particulate matter comes from outside, says TNO. Particulate matter consists of particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, which are invisible and a hundred times smaller than a human hair. These particles penetrate deep into the vesicles and when they enter the bloodstream they can cause inflammatory reactions that can lead to cardiovascular disease. We have seen during research that substantial concentrations of particulate matter linger for three hours after people use a deodorant in the morning. You do not notice this because particulate matter cannot be seen with the naked eye.

In an TNO experiment in Eindhoven, people were given a backpack full of measuring equipment. They wore it every day for a week. The backpack recorded the amount of particulate matter in the air. People spent 90 percent of their time indoors. And 90% of the exposure to particulate matter they incur indoors. A closer analysis showed that a quarter to a third of the particulate matter was inhaled in just a few percent of the time. These peaks occurred in traffic and in particular indoors during and after cooking in the early evening.


insulation means ventilation

When you roast meat or stir-fry vegetables at high temperatures, fine dust is released. In the past this was not a problem because houses were very draughty so there was continuous ventilation. An hour after cooking the air was already refreshed. But nowadays the houses are so well insulated that fine dust lingers there for a long time. We see this reflected in TNO's measurements. In addition, the kitchens used to be closed and you cooked with the door closed. Just opened the window and the fine dust was quickly gone again. Now they are open kitchens in the living room with a volume of more than 100 cubic meters. You have to change it three times to make 95% of the fine dust disappear. In the summer it is of course easier, but in the winter everything often stays closed. In the TV program 'Todays Knowledge' was showed that when baking hamburgers the number of micgrograms of particulate matter per M3 increased to 670. That is 60 times more than the standard applied by the World Health Organization for annual outdoor exposure !!

Source: TNO

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