“Indoor” air pollution causes several million premature deaths per year worldwide. And one part in particular would be largely responsible. How to keep the air clean in your home? Here are some useful recommendations.
The kitchen is the room of reunions, meals, that of transmission. It is also the room in the house that generates the most pollution! According to the Global Center for Clean Air Research (GCARE), indoor air pollution from cooking fuels such as charcoal and wood causes an estimated four million premature deaths worldwide each year.
Nightmare in the kitchen: risks that we do not perceive
For GCARE, it was becoming urgent to orient the general public to the health risks of indoor pollution. “We all take clean air for granted, especially when we’re in the kitchen, a room that takes center stage in the homes of many people around the world.” confirms Prashant Kumar, founding director of GCARE. However, the reality is quite different.
According to scientific facts:
- The impacts of indoor air pollution can range from acute to chronic health effects, depending on age, gender, length of exposure, distance from kitchen, ventilation devices and the type of fuel;
- Poor indoor air quality can cause acute illnesses such as headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, dyspnea, wheezing, confusion, anxiety, nose and throat and lightheadedness or vertigo (carbon dioxide and nitrogen increase the effects of narcosis);
- Chronic illnesses associated with air pollution include heart disease, pneumonia, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
This is why the center has led, with more than 50 co-authors in 20 countries, a guide written from scientific facts to implement practical measures in its own kitchen.
Recipes for clean air at home
However, as mentioned in the guide, there are very simple measures to put in place to ensure better air on a daily basis. This will, of course, go through installing the appropriate ventilation devices if you are designing a new kitchen. But other habits are recommended:
- Use the least polluting fuels;
- Use healthy cooking methods (steam, oven, etc.) and reduce cooking time;
- Reduce cooking by frying;
- Ventilate your kitchen regularly;
- Monitor air quality with a carbon dioxide detector;
- Reduce other sources of pollution in this room (tobacco, cleaning products, etc.);
- Avoid unnecessary presence (especially children) in the kitchen during cooking.
The guide, which can be downloaded in French, also provides advice to contractors on how to restore this room to a user-friendly and above all healthy function.