Reducing Air Pollution in Kitchens Could Drastically Improve Health Outcomes

University of Surrey experts note that cutting back on kitchen air pollution could have a significant positive impact on health outcomes for the world’s most vulnerable communities.

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About four million premature deaths per year are credited to indoor air pollution from cooking fuels like charcoal and wood, a statistic that Surrey’s renowned Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) is attempting to address with its Kitchen Pollution Guidance.

Professor Prashant Kumar and a group of over 50 co-authors from 20 countries are leading this comprehensive guidance. This guidance provides scientific research on practical, easy-to-implement measures. It provides individuals with useful tips and actionable advice while also proposing steps that housing providers and governing bodies can implement.

The GCARE team has created a short video outlining its kitchen guidance to help spread the word even further (see below). 

We all take clean air for granted, particularly when we are in the kitchen—a room that is central in many people's homes across the world. Our guidance is now available in 17 different languages, a fact that demonstrates that we are passionate about passing on this knowledge to as many people as possible.

Prashant Kumar, Professor and Founding Director, GCARE, University of Surrey

The guidance includes a number of specific suggestions for ordinary citizens, home builders, and policymakers. The following are some key recommendations for ordinary citizens:

  • Shorter cooking sessions are preferable.
  • Decrease the number of fried meals prepared in the kitchen.
  • Keep children (and anyone else who is not preparing a meal) away from the kitchen.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide by opening kitchen windows while cooking.

The Egyptian government has recently adopted and promoted GCARE’s kitchen guidance.

We are working to support all procedures and good practices to avoid the negative effects of emissions that cause environmental air pollution both indoor and ambient.

Dr. Yasmin Fouad, Ministry of the Environment, Egypt

Clean Air for Kitchens

Video Credit: University of Surrey


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