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Kitchen Air Pollution

Consider a Venting Range Hood to Enjoy Delicious Meals and Protect Your Lungs

Here in East Tennessee we are familiar with talk about air quality. As one of the allergen capitals of the world and subject to significant air pollution carried to our region that settles in the valleys, we often turn on the news to stories covering best practices during pollen season, read articles discussing ways to improve air quality, and even drive past towering billboards advertising various allergy and asthma physicians. It sounds rather unwelcoming, but informing those impacted is the first step in coping with this regional nuisance.

Now, all that considered, what if you were told that despite your location in the world, you probably subject yourself to air quality far worse than that of East Tennessee or even urban centers well-known for terrible air? We are talking about air quality worse than the most dense smog event in London and four times worse than a major particulate haze event in Beijing. Sounds like directly inhaling car exhaust, right?

Actually, the location of this air quality nightmare is likely in your home or commercial kitchen. While much research has been conducted with a focus on outdoor air quality environments, and promoted, many of us fail to consider the research that has been conducted to support similar concerns about our indoor environments.

According to Berkley Lab engineer Jennifer M. Logue, “Because we’re used to the smell, we don’t think of it as an issue.” We have all certainly walked into a restaurant or into our own kitchens to take a deep breath of delicious sizzling steak or simmering marinara sauce, but the truth is - we probably should not be breathing vaporized food particles into our fragile lungs.

Cartoon Gas Mask

We have been taught and constantly reminded to keep the batteries fresh in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to protect ourselves and others from harmful airborne elements, but few of us have been encouraged to utilize the tool that can so effectively protect us from harmful cooking air: The venting range hood. It’s not just there for when you burn a batch of cookies or overdo it with garlic. In fact, your hood should be powered on each time you begin cooking.

Kitchen venting range hoods have the ability to aid in the removal of harmful contaminants created by cooking that can directly impact indoor air quality. Though these hoods lack the ability to remove all harmful vapors and toxins from the air, it can effectively remove volatile compounds from cooking fire and water vapor of an indoor space both inside and outside the physical kitchen.

Despite the obvious issue, Richard L. Corsi engineer and professor at the University of Texas at Austin explains that, “We haven’t had the regulatory driver for the indoor environment, and yet the indoor environment is probably the most important in terms of human health.”

Inspired by a need for indoor environment regulation, William W. Delp and Brett C. Singer researchers at the Environmental Energy Technologies Division of the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory conducted a study comparing low- to moderately-priced cooking exhaust hoods and considered three traits: Fan and airflow performance, sound, and capture efficiency.

Delp and Singer found evidence indicating that, despite a disparity in capture efficiency amongst the units, “Routine use of even moderately effective venting range hoods can substantially reduce in-home exposure to cooking and burner-generated air pollutants.”

What does this all mean to us?

Picture of Ventless Hood

First and foremost, this does not mean you should stop cooking, nor does it mean eat all your food cold and raw. This information, instead, solidifies the idea that if you are going to do something, do it right. Don’t show up to play catch without a ball glove, don’t skydive without a parachute, and, from now on don’t cook without a venting range hood.

Ready to Breathe Easy With Your Very Own Venting Range Hood?

Purchasing a venting range hood is simple when you have the right selection to choose from. Consider Eagle for your commercial kitchen or Summit Appliance for your home. If it’s a ventless hood that would better suit your needs, consider Wells. For help in selecting the right hood for you, contact one of our knowledgeable KaTom team members at 800-541-8683 or e-mail info@KaTom.com. We will have you breathing easier in no time.