Why is this important?
“Cooking activities can affect indoor air quality, which may have an impact on your health. Cooking creates particulate matter that can become airborne when you fry, deep-fry, roast, broil, saute, toast, bake or burn food. In addition, a gas stove can also generate carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Cooking activities can also produce excessive water vapour, increasing the amount of moisture in the air, which can lead to mould growth" (Government of Canada, 2021).
What actions can be taken?
- Avoid cooking at very high temperatures (above 350 degrees Celsius, or high enough to cause oil to smoke) when using non-stick cookware coated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
- When considering replacing PFC-coated cookware, choose options such as cast iron, stainless steel and ceramic-coated pans.
- Always use a range hood exhaust fan or open a window while cooking.
- Use the least toxic oven cleaners available.
- Clean ovens frequently with soap and water to help reduce or eliminate the use of harsh chemicals.
- As a non-toxic method to remove baked on food, apply a paste of baking soda and water, leave it on overnight and scrub off the following day.
- If using commercial oven cleaners, follow instructions, ventilate well, and keep children out of the space while cleaning.
- Be sure you keep cleaner locked in drawers or cupboards, out of sight and reach of young children.
- Use least toxic and fragrance-free dishwasher detergents.
- Be sure you keep detergents locked in drawers or cupboards, out of sight and reach of young children.
- Run the dishwasher only when full and when children are not in the kitchen.
- Have a window open or fan running during the dishwashing cycles, and especially upon opening the unit, to reduce moisture in the air that can lead to mould growth.
- Have good ventilation in the kitchen to avoid moisture build- up and reduce exposure to potentially harmful pollutants from cooking and cleaning/disinfecting products.