The contribution of cooking appliances and residential traffic proximity to aerosol personal exposure

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Indoor and outdoor factors affect personal exposure to air pollutants. Type of cooking appliance (i.e. gas, electricity), and residential location related to traffic are such factors. This research aims to investigate the effect of cooking with gas and electric appliances, as an indoor source of aerosols, and residential traffic as outdoor sources, on personal exposures to particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter lower than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), and ultrafine particles (UFP).

Forty subjects were sampled for four consecutive days measuring personal exposures to three aerosol pollutants, namely PM2.5, BC, and UFP, which were measured using personal sensors. Subjects were equally distributed into four categories according to the use of gas or electric stoves for cooking, and to residential traffic (i.e. houses located near or away from busy roads).

Cooking was identified as an indoor activity affecting exposure to aerosols, with mean concentrations during cooking ranging 24.7–50.0 μg/m3 (PM2.5), 1.8–4.9 μg/m3 (BC), and 1.4 × 104–4.1 × 104 particles/cm3 (UFP). This study also suggest that traffic is a dominant source of exposure to BC, since people living near busy roads are exposed to higher BC concentrations than those living further away from traffic. In contrast, the contribution of indoor sources to personal exposure to PM2.5 and UFP seems to be greater than from outdoor traffic sources. This is probably related to a combination of the type of building construction and a varying range of activities conducted indoors. It is recommended to ensure a good ventilation during cooking to minimize exposure to cooking aerosols.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering
Early online date22 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2021


  • Personal exposure, Airborne pollutants, Particulate matter (PM2.5), Black carbon (BC), Ultrafine particles (UFP), Indoor/outdoor exposure