There has been a lot of talk about it for a few weeks because some non-governmental organizations that do research in the energy sector in the United States and Europe are putting pressure on the authorities to encourage the transition in homes from using gas stoves to electric hobs. In addition to drawing attention to the environmental and economic impact of gas cooking, these organizations have recently published studies and reports highlighting its health risks, especially that of children.
As a general rule, the subject isn’t new: it has been known for quite a while that ovens discharge gasses and fine particles into our homes, resulting in ignition that violently affects aviation routes and favors the beginning of asthma and respiratory contaminations. Asthma is one of the most common childhood illnesses. Be that as it may, the first signs of asthma in quite a while frequently slip by everyone’s notice, and, generally speaking, the determination is slow. Hack and wheezing can appear as disengaged episodes or related to bronchitis or respiratory disease in the long primary stretches of life.
The primary source of this provocative activity is nitrogen dioxide, ecological contamination likewise present in the outdoors, particularly in metropolitan regions, delivered by the traffic of engine vehicles. In houses where gas ovens are utilized, the centralization of nitrogen dioxide is higher than that of the outside climate, higher than the limit of risk to human wellbeing demonstrated by the World Wellbeing Association.
How Much Does Pollution From Cooking Affect The Risk Of Asthma For Children?
The respiratory tracts of children are smaller than those of adults, and the inflammatory agents they inhale cause a further narrowing of their caliber. Therefore, children are more vulnerable than adults to air pollutants and more susceptible to respiratory infections and asthmatic bronchitis. According to a study published in 2013, domestic use of gas stoves increases the risk of asthma by 42% for a child living at home. The estimate does not explicitly concern the risk linked to the inhalation of nitrogen dioxide.
Still, the overall pollution generated by cooking with gas, therefore also the delicate particulate matter and other combustion products. In specific situations, the risk varies according to the size of the kitchen and the apartment, the number of hours the child spends at home and in the kitchen where the stove is located, the presence or absence of ventilation systems, and the frequency of use of the stove.
What Can We Do To Protect Our Children From Cooking Pollution?
The most effective solution is to eliminate gas hobs and replace them with electric ones, but it is an economically demanding change. Some countries offer incentives to help switch from gas to electricity. In India, for the moment, nothing is foreseen in this regard. No country has expressed its intention to ban gas cooking precisely because imposing change would not be sustainable for many. In everyday life, in a house where gas stoves are used, some precautions can be taken to reduce the concentration of airborne pollutants:
- Avoid children spending too much time in the kitchen while adults cook;
- Frequently air the different rooms in the apartment, especially the bedrooms;
- Keep the window open in the kitchen while cooking;
- Please turn on the hood above the stove when preparing a dish with a particularly intense smell, but always, each time it is used. If there is no hood, turn on a fan in the kitchen in front of the open window to favor air exchange.
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