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Published June 6, 2012 09:00 AM

Kitchen air pollution is three-times higher than busy city centres

The air inside homes can have pollutant levels three-times higher than in city centres and along busy roads, according to a new study by the University of Sheffield.


Researchers from the University's Faculty of Engineering measured air quality inside and outside three residential buildings with different types of energy use, including gas versus electric cookers.

They found that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the kitchen of the city centre flat with a gas cooker were three times higher than the concentrations measured outside the property and well above those recommended in UK Indoor Air Quality Guidance.

These findings are published in the Journal of Indoor and Built Environment.

"We spend 90 per cent of our time indoors and work hard to make our homes warm, secure and comfortable, but we rarely think about the pollution we might be breathing in," said Professor Vida Sharifi, who led the research.

"Energy is just one source of indoor pollution, but it is a significant one. And as we make our homes more airtight to reduce heating costs, we are likely to be exposed to higher levels of indoor pollution, with potential impacts on our health."

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