“Cook electrically and replace candles with LED candles”

We are not only exposed to air pollution outside. In many kitchens, splattering grease and sticking to food causes a daily peak of fine dust. Cooking on gas in particular would be unhealthy. Children who grow up in a home with a gas stove have a 20 percent greater risk of lung disease than children who grow up in a household where electric cooking is used.

Air pollution is also a problem in homes without a gas stove. “The main sources of indoor air pollution are combustion processes,” says Tim Nauru, environmental and health expert (UHasselt and KU Leuven). “Baking and roasting cause a lot of pollution. But candles, stoves and fireplaces also lead to high emissions of particulates and soot.

The WHO limit value for particulate matter since September is 5 micrograms per cubic metre. “If you test our homes against that, 98 percent don’t comply,” says Pete Jacobs, an air quality researcher at the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). “On average, 60 percent of the particles come from outside and the rest happens in the home itself.”

In order to reduce the emission of particulate matter in the house to a minimum, it is necessary, first of all, to ventilate regularly. “There is still no better way to prevent harmful particles from remaining in the air,” says Nauert. Further reducing the risk can be done by zTo avoid combustion processes as much as possible. “Cook with electricity instead of gas, and replace candles with LED candles,” Jacobs says.

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