Air PollutionHVAC

How to Deal with the Dangers of Air Pollution from Charbroiling

By January 12, 2018 No Comments
7 minutes to read

HVAC Air Filter company for Restaurants Camfil goes over Effects of Air Pollution from Charbroiling.

While many people think of air pollution as primarily being released by factories and motor vehicles, an often-overlooked source of air pollution is restaurants that charbroil food. The air pollution from charbroiling can have substantial impacts on people’s health, including increasing the chance a person will develop cancer. It’s important to be aware of the dangers posed by restaurants that charbroil and to take the necessary steps to reduce air pollution from the charbroiling process itself.

What Are the Emissions Created by Restaurants that Charbroil?

In terms of the emissions created by restaurants that charbroil their food, much of the pollution is particulate matter. The particulate matter measurement barometer related to charbroiling refers to tiny particles, the smallest of which are less than 2.5 microns across and referred to as PM2.5.

PM2.5 particles are made up of tiny liquid or solid droplets include black carbon, a light-absorbing particle, which is a major component of soot. Black carbon and particulate emissions in general typically arise from the incomplete combustion of objects, such as biofuels and the charbroiling of food.

“Researchers from the University of California Riverside found that the amount of particulate matter emissions released by charbroiling a single hamburger patty is approximately equivalent to the emissions produced by an 18 wheeler diesel engine truck driving for 140 miles on a freeway,” says Charlie Seyffer, Manager of Marketing & Technical Materials at Camfil. (1)

The reason for this is when meat is charbroiled on the grill, all of the water vapor, smoke, and other particles are sent into the air. When the grills are run for hours at a time, the amount of emissions can quickly stack up.

What Are the Effects of Air Pollution from Charbroiling?

The effects of air pollution from charbroiling include the possibility of heart attacks, lung damage, aggravated asthma, increased risk of cancer, and premature death due to lung and/or heart disease.

Particulate matter pollution can get into the lungs and cause lung irritation, which can result in decreased lung function. It can also aggravate chronic lung diseases, and negatively impact heart function by causing the release of chemicals that damage the heart. Particulate matter also increases the risk of damage from both bacterial and viral pathogens, leading to conditions like pneumonia.

“The charbroiling of food can also release particulate matter containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Repeated exposure to PAHs can lead to kidney and liver damage, and has been correlated with the development of cancer in some research on animals,” says Seyffer. “Studies conducted on those exposed to PAHs as well as other chemicals found an increased risk of lung, skin, and gastrointestinal cancers.” (2)

How Can Reducing Air Pollution from Charbroiling Restaurants Be Achieved?

Reducing air pollution from charbroiling restaurants can be achieved through a variety of approaches. Regulatory standards and technological fixes should both be implemented to reduce air pollution from charbroiling restaurants.

One of the most effective ways of reducing air pollution from restaurants that charbroil food would be to instantiate emissions regulations for them. Very few regulations currently exist for restaurants. There should also be a focus on creating the sort of technology that would assist in cheaply and efficiently reducing these emissions.  

“New York City recently introduced legislation that would require the use of emissions control devices on restaurants across the city’s five boroughs. New emissions control devices referred to as wet scrubber systems cut down on particulate matter emissions at a much cheaper price than old electrostatic precipitators,” explains Seyffer. “This is an example of technological advancements and regulation working hand-in-hand to reduce emissions.” (3)

What Can You Do to Cut Down on Air Pollution from Charbroiling?

Cutting down on air pollution from charbroiling is a shared responsibility. Regardless of whether you own or work in a restaurant, try to be sure that emissions regulating technology like scrubbers and HVAC systems are properly installed and used. They are the best way to protect yourself and others against irreversible medical conditions that if left untreated, could prove to be deadly.

If you need help determining the best filters to protect yourself against particulate matter and other air pollution from charbroiling, contact Camfil now. A Camfil filter representative will be able to help you decide on the best filters to use and the best emissions limiting devices to employ.