Airborne Pollutants from Cooking Activities in Residential, Commercial and Institutional Kitchens

Airborne Pollutants from Cooking Activities in Residential, Commercial and Institutional Kitchens

Clark Seif Clark provides air quality testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks to combustion gases, particulate matter, odors and organic chemicals produced while cooking

Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE

Kitchen exhausts require thoughtful design, careful installation and regular maintenance.

Millions of Americans go to work each day in restaurants, commercial kitchens and other facilities that prepare and cook food. In the home, the kitchen is the place where families gather and spend time together. Unfortunately, in some instances, kitchens can also be a significant source of indoor air pollution if there is a lack of appropriate ventilation. Exhaust from commercial kitchens and restaurants can even cause outdoor air pollution issues in some crowded urban environments.


 


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists wood and gas stoves as sources of combustion products that impact indoor air quality (IAQ). These include carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particles. Natural gas and propane range tops and ovens can also release formaldehyde into the air. Even electric stoves can generate unhealthy air pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and acrolein, from heating oil, fat and other food ingredients at high temperatures. Regardless of the energy source, self-cleaning ovens can also create high levels of pollutants as food waste is burned away.


 


“On or off, kitchen exhaust vents can significantly degrade the indoor environment resulting in building damages, elevated energy costs and injured people,” said Derrick A. Denis, Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Kitchen exhausts require thoughtful design, careful installation and regular maintenance. Managing carbon monoxide, aerosolized grease, water vapor and cooking odors are merely the tip of the kitchen exhaust iceberg. Poorly designed or operated kitchen ventilation systems can influence the IAQ in adjoining suites or even entire buildings. For example, inadequate exhaust make-up air can result in a strip mall restaurant smelling like a nail salon four suites over. Poorly maintained evaporative cooler make-up air units can result in Legionellosis outbreaks. Oversized ventilation systems with inadequate outside air can pull sewer gasses through the water in a P-trap, resulting in odors, corrosion and potential false natural gas leak claims or can backdraft other combustion sources like water heater exhausts or clothes dryer exhausts. Looking at the kitchen and the building as a system is imperative for ensuring kitchen exhaust systems improve, rather than degrade, indoor air quality.”


 


The IAQ experts at CSC identify indoor and outdoor air pollution from cooking activities and work to find solutions to mitigate exposure risks. Their building science and industrial hygiene professionals provide worksite assessments, ventilation inspections, air testing and monitoring services for particulate matter, organic chemicals, gases and odors from all types of kitchens. CSC has even sponsored an educational video about indoor air pollution from cooking that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/HI3drF4yY2U


 


To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, building science, occupational, environmental, health and safety services, please visit www.csceng.com, email csc@csceng.com or call (800) 807-1118. 


 


About Clark Seif Clark


CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.


 

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Contact Information
Paul Cochrane
President
Cochrane & Associates, LLC
Contact via E-mail


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