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Like to Grill? Hold Your Breath!

Posted on March 05, 2013
by Wendy Stackhouse

Gas grill

I admit it. I love my grill. We had grilled salmon for dinner just last night. It’s nice to be able to grill year-round in California.

But should I be grilling so often?   I wonder…

A new study by scientists at UC Davis has turned up one of the biggest producers of dangerous particles–the backyard grill.

Anthony Wexler, Director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC Davis, headed up the study which used atmospheric samples to measure the toxicity of various kinds of pollution from particles. Along with professor of pediatrics Kent Pinkerton, the study found that particles from cooking on a grill were as toxic as vehicle and wood-burning emissions.

The main culprit: charcoal briquets.

Whew! I have a gas grill!

Air pollution from cooking is a global problem, causing premature deaths in developed and undeveloped countries alike. If you decide to use a charcoal grill, follow these simple steps to protect your respiratory health:

  • Never grill indoors
  • Close your windows if the grill is near the house
  • Adjust the position of the grill so that you can cook upwind of any smoke
  • Do not overuse lighter fluids
  • Do not store the grill indoors with used charcoal inside

Grilling is fun and easy and a great way to add flavor to meats and vegetables, but be mindful and use the grill safely to protect your health!

Another thing you can do to keep yourself safe when cooking is to keep your kitchen air ducts and exhaust hoods clean and grease-free. Kitchen fires are often caused by volatile materials lurking in ductwork, especially in restaurants. If you need commercial or residential duct cleaning services in California, call on AirTek!

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