Cooking And Its Impact On Your Indoor Air
Organic aerosols — such as those released in cooking — may stay in the atmosphere for several days, because of nanostructures formed by fatty acids as they are released into the air.
By identifying the processes which control how these aerosols are transformed in the atmosphere, scientists will be able to better understand and predict their impact on the environment and the climate.
Experts at the Universities of Birmingham and Bath have used instruments at the Diamond Light Source and the Central Laser Facility, both based at the Harwell Campus in Oxford, to probe the behavior of thin films of oleic acid — an unsaturated fatty acid commonly released when cooking.
In the study, published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, they were able to analyze the particular molecular properties that control how rapidly aerosol emissions can be broken down in the atmosphere.
Then, using a theoretical model combined with experimental data the team was able to predict the amount of time aerosols generated from cooking may hang around in the environment.
These types of aerosols have long been associated with poor air quality in urban areas, but their impact on human-made climate change is hard to gauge. That’s because of the diverse range of molecules found within aerosols, and their varying interactions with the environment.
By identifying the nanostructure of molecules emitted during cooking that slows down the break-up of organic aerosols, it becomes possible to model how they are transported and dispersed into the atmosphere.
Lead author Dr Christian Pfrang, of the University of Birmingham’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: “Cooking aerosols account for up to 10 per cent of particulate matter (PM) emissions in the UK. Finding accurate ways to predict their behavior will give us much more precise ways to also assess their contribution to climate change.”
Co-author Dr Adam Squires, of the University of Bath, said: “We’re increasingly finding out how molecules like these fatty acids from cooking can organise themselves into bilayers and other regular shapes and stacks within aerosol droplets that float in the air, and how this completely changes how fast they degrade, how long they persist in the atmosphere, and how they affect pollution and weather.”
The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council
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We are a 2nd generation family owned and operated business that has been working in homes with basements and crawl spaces for over 35 years. We have been waterproofing and sealing about 500 foundations a month during that time as the largest Waterproofing contractor in the Midwest with 15 locations servicing 8 states.
20 years ago we would seal a foundation and recommend a standard dehumidifier to address the additional water vapor (humidity in the air) inherently found in below grade environments, such as basements and crawlspaces. Back then, dehumidifiers were the industry standard to help with this problem. However, many of our customers were looking to us as the “foundation expert”, asking…
“What else do you have? I really am not getting results with this messy, expensive dehumidifier. My foundation is dry, walls are dry, floor is dry, so why does it still smell and feel like a basement?”
We needed to find something better. Our company’s core values include offering world class customer service to every customer, every time. So, we challenged our Research and Development department to find a real solution for our customers to combat not only the moisture, but also the odors, pollutants and unhealthy environment our customers were concerned about. We found, tested and installed a ventilation product for a period of three years. We private labeled that product as the EZ Breathe Ventilation System. The feedback in those first three years from our customers, as well as our installation crews, did not live up to the standard of quality to be included in our waterproofing process that offered a life time warranty. Once again, we needed something better.
We valued not only the results, but what we were learning from our customers. So, we went back to the drawing board, took matters into our own hands and made quality improvements to that first generation ventilation unit.
Our own EZ Breathe Ventilation System was born…reengineered, redesigned and much improved! We quickly learned that our crews were thrilled with the quality improvements, ease of operation and installation, but more importantly, our waterproofing customers loved the new, improved EZ Breathe unit as well.
Their feedback told us the air in their basements and crawlspaces felt better, but their entire home was benefiting from their EZ Breathe as well. We received countless letters thanking us because their whole house felt different, less odors, fresher air upstairs too, family members were feeling better, needing less allergy medicine, husbands were no longer snoring, children were no longer coughing as much, the home and it’s family were living healthier lives!
It was time for us to move beyond simply offering this innovative technology to just our waterproofing customers. Our passion and commitment to helping people improve their indoor air environments is what drove us to incorporate EZ Breathe Ventilation Systems as an independent company in 2003. We strongly believe that homeowners everywhere deserve a healthy indoor air quality.
We have spent the last 15 years dedicated to learning about the relationship between our home and our health; indoor air quality, the home as a system, building science and how it relates to indoor air quality as well as the challenges our modern day practices pose to the quality of air we breathe in our homes.