Pollution is a widely shared concern among Americans, and for good reason. But when you consider pollution, you may be failing to include a common cause of pollution that hits incredibly close to home — in your own kitchen.
Even if you clean your kitchen until it sparkles, there is an underlying health concern posed by indoor air pollution that many overlook.
A recent article on Boston.com breaks down the health burden of kitchen pollution, which has much to do with kitchen appliances that are a standard staple in homes, including refrigerators and stoves.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aware of these commonplace pollutants and has set standard for the hazardous air pollutants found in kitchens. While these standards are largely being met, the problem remains that the EPA only inspects public places.
Since the pollutants expelled by kitchen appliances are colorless, they can be difficult to detect in one’s own home. Your stove alone expels a number of pollutants, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide among others, and the amount of pollutants increase with gas stoves as opposed to electric. While many kitchen savvy chefs appreciate the efficiency provided by a gas stove, with it comes a higher level of CO and NO2.
Before you consider making the switch to electric, know that it is not the only factor in stove related pollution – cooking contributes to this pollution, as well. In fact, the pollutant expelled from burning animal and vegetable fats can be toxic, according to the EPA.
There are steps you can take to rectify the situation and make your kitchen a more environmentally friendly place. First, switching to an electric stove will make a difference, significantly lowering the NO2 concentration. Purchasing an air purifier is also an easy and beneficial step to lowering pollution in your kitchen. While you are shopping for an air purifier, another purchase that may help is a range hood that will improve circulation. The simplest step we can all take to make our kitchens safer is an easy one – open the windows. By improving ventilation, you will be exposing yourself and your loved ones to less pollution.