Simple Solutions to Indoor Air Pollution
An Alarming number of studies suggests indoor air pollution is a major health risk. You might be asking yourself, am I at risk? According to the Global Burden of Disease study, 2.31 million deaths were attributed to indoor pollution in 2019. The World Health Organization however published a much higher number at 3.8 million. Regardless, it is a preventable leading causes of death. While we all care about our health, we aren't made of money. Here is what you can do now to help reduce your risk of respiratory illness:Causes
There are a plethora of sources of indoor air pollution. Heating various meats, oils and fat especially at high temperatures creates a variety of different pollutants that linger in your home. The chemical most commonly found in starchy foods is Acrylamide. Acrylamide is released when starchy foods turn dark brown from high temperature cooking. Foods with high levels of acrylamide are:
- French Fries
- Sweet potatoes
PAHs and HCAs
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals that are created when fat and juices from meat reach a high temperature; typically when grilling, baking or frying meats. HCAs are the end result of a reaction between sugar and amino acid molecules. There is one rule of thumb to follow to prevent yourself from the dangers of HCAs and PCAs: Ventilation. Ensure you are cooking in an open environment if possible and if none is available make sure you have the proper ventilation over the source of the heat i.e.: Your Stove.
This isn't rocket science but it is chemistry. The solution sounds simple: Don't breathe in the harmful particulates and you are good. Unfortunately, most of these particulates have no odor. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimate about 90% of all residents own a microwave and more than half are used for ventilation while cooking.
Install a Vent Hood Extender
The solution is quite simple, if the smoke gets sucked into the filter or a ventilation system directly out of the pan, you can't breathe it in. That is the premise of the DeSmoker. It only costs $50 yet it gets the job done with it ready right out of the box. The low price point makes this an unmatched simple gadget.
Clean your Kitchen Vent Filter routinely.
Kitchen appliances such as Pacific range hoods, Hoodsly range hoods and Broan range hoods commonly do not ventilate outdoors, thus filters accumulate oil that could potentially be contaminated with PCAs and HCAs. It is recommended you clean or replace those every month.
Upgrade Kitchen Vent
The last solution, and one of the most costly options, is replacing the entire kitchen vent with a larger vent. This usually costs anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 simply due to installation of the ventilation system.