Air Pollution from Cooking? Oh, what a not so wonderful aroma
As if there have not been enough things linked to pollution, here's another shocker. Presenting their findings at the 239th Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Minnesota scientists studying commercial cooking have shown that cooking produces air pollutants harmful to humans and to the environment. Carleton College Professor and several colleagues used a combination of chemical and physical measurements of the solid and liquid aerosol particles generated by cooking food to determine the effects upon the environment.
The project has already resulted in some California Air Quality Management Districts requiring catalytic converters, devices used to reduce the toxicity of emissions, to restrict commercial cooking emissions.
Home cooking can also generate particulates, making exposure from both commercial and home sources common. The group studied events such as the oven cooking of pizzas, the broiling of steaks, and grilling of hamburgers. The worst offenders in commercial settings were fatty foods heated over high heat, especially with use of open flames. Other significant emissions were caused by stir frying of chicken in hot oils. Charcoal grilling has long been implicated as a possible source of carcinogens. Future research is expected to develop more guidelines for commercial food emissions and their effect upon public safety.
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