Exposure to particles emitted by cooking activities may be responsible for a variety of respiratory health effects. However, the relationship between these exposures and their subsequent effects on health cannot be evaluated without understanding the properties of the emitted aerosol or the main parameters that influence particle emissions during cooking. Whilst traffic-related emissions, stack emissions and concentrations of ultrafine particles (UFPs, diameter < 100 nm) in urban ambient air have been widely investigated for many years, indoor exposure to UFPs is a relatively new field and in order to evaluate indoor UFP emissions accurately, it is vital to improve scientific understanding of the main parameters that influence particle number, surface area and mass emissions. The main purpose of this study was to characterise the particle emissions produced during grilling and frying as a function of the food, source, cooking temperature and type of oil. Emission factors, along with particle number concentrations and size distributions were determined in the size range 0.006–20 mm using a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) and an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer (APS). An infrared camera was used to measure the temperature field. Overall, increased emission factors were observed to be a function of increased cooking temperatures. Cooking fatty foods also produced higher particle emission factors than vegetables, mainly in terms of mass concentration, and particle emission factors also varied significantly according to the type of oil used.
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