Cooking on gas leads to a worse indoor climate than cooking on an electric stove, with the percentage of nitrogen dioxide often exceeding recommended limits, according to research by the Dutch TNO institute.
The researchers looked at cooking practices in 279 homes in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Slovakia, Britain and Romania and found more NO2, carbon monoxide and small particle pollution was released cooking on gas than by using electricity.
The pollution was a problem in all countries, but was worse in Italy and Spain where people spent more time in the kitchen. Nevertheless, in 25% of the Dutch homes, emissions of NO2 broke World Health Organisation guidelines and the volume of NO2 was almost twice as high in gas kitchens than ones using a ceramic hob.
The pollutants increase the chance of developing asthma, lung problems and heart and artery disease, chief researcher Piet Jacobs told the AD.
The problem is worsened by the current trend for open kitchen. “Kitchens used to be closed off and people would open a window so the cooking air would disappear,” he said. “Now it mixes throughout the entire room and hangs around longer.”
The results of the survey show that cooking on a ceramic hob is better for good health and should be encouraged, the researchers say.
In addition, cooks should use the extractor fan for all cooking, including boiling water or potatoes. The researchers called on manufacturers to develop automatic, noise-reduced extractor fans for every type of kitchen.
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