Thanksgiving is coming! Food! Family!
Oh, and pollution.
Yes, it’s true: cooking is perhaps one of the biggest causes of indoor air pollution. The pollutants created by cooking can actually be so serious that, according to a recent article in Scope, Stanford Medicine’s publication, they “can cause health problems such as respiratory illness and asthma attacks.”
In fact, it’s estimated that 60 percent of homes that cook at least once a week with a gas stove reach pollutant levels that would be illegal if they were outdoors (and since indoor air isn’t regulated, we are generally in danger of this issue).
One article points out that in California alone, “12 million Californians [are] routinely exposed to nitrogen dioxide levels that exceed federal outdoor standards, 10 million exposed to formaldehyde exceeding federal standards and 1.7 million exposed to carbon monoxide exceeding ambient air standards in a typical week in winter.”
But even if you have an electric stove, you must be careful: the pollutants produced by electric burners are smaller than gas ones, and thus harder to filter. As Brett Singer, lead researcher at Berkeley Lab says, “After you turn it on, you can smell it—it smells terrible. You’re smelling the chemicals that have been volatilized. Once they’re in the air, they recondense into these ultrafine particles.”
These ultrafine particles can enter your lungs and even your bloodstream.
That’s a lot of unhealthy pollutants, and a very dangerous situation for your upcoming family get together.
And since Thanksgiving is a time when we generally cook a lot and for a lot of people(this is a good thing), we have to be especially careful that we make sure that we keep our air clean.
Okay, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that a lot of these dangers are preventable! Surprise surprise, you don’t need to breathe unhealthy pollutants every time you cook, and especially for Thanksgiving!
Here are some very basic and easy tips as recommended by experts:
1. Use that range hood
Yes, it’s loud. And that’s often why so many people don’t use their range hoods unless they see smoke. But range hoods are extremely necessary for helping to reduce air pollution while cooking, and experts recommend using them every time you cook.
2. Open windows
According to the EPA, pollution is 2 to 5 times worse in our homes than outdoors (really!), even when we aren’t cooking. So crack one of those windows and let in some fresh air. It’ll do you good.
3. Use the backburners when you can
So, you may be cooking a bunch, but do your best to use backburners when cooking so that your range is pulling up as much air pollution as possible.
4. Get an air purifier
Here’s the thing: range hoods are great, but they don’t do the entire job. In fact, according to that same Scope article, range hoods only capture 50 to 70% of indoor pollutants. In other words, they’ll help, but especially for heaving cooking days like Thanksgiving, you’ll need more help if you really want to remove pollution from your home.
Here’s the part where I tell you this is exactly what we do here. We’ve made air purifiers, from our aair lite to our aair 3-in-1 Pro, that are made for the most dangerous forms of indoor air pollution caused by cooking and other issues.
These air purifiers remove 99.95% of indoor pollutants. That’s… a lot. And for indoor air health while cooking (and while just going about your life!), it’s essential.
If you have questions about this stuff, feel free to contact us. We’d love to chat.
Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving, friends!