Objective: Cooking emits a huge concentration of indoor air pollutants, including particulate matter (PM). Exposure to PM can lead to long-term adverse respiratory effects among workers engaged in cooking. Only a few studies have measured cooking-related air pollutants in large school cafeterias where young student workers are frequently employed. The objective of this research was to compare stationary exposures to PM from cooking during two work shifts at a very large university dining commons kitchen.

Methods: Number concentrations of PM of varying aerodynamic sizes (1, 2.5, 5, and 10 µm) were measured at the back kitchen, DC grill, and brick oven during two work shifts using the CEM DT-9881 air monitor and mass concentrations of PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 were measured simultaneously using the DustTrakTM aerosol monitor. PM number concentrations were higher in the afternoon shift than in the evening shift.

Results: The mean number concentrations of PM2.5, PM5, and PM10 during the afternoon shift were 1,335,783, 320,471, and 87,915 particles/m3 respectively. In the evening shift, the values were 207,020, 23,745, and 4,146 particles/m3 respectively. The mass concentrations of PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 were higher during the afternoon shift compared to the evening shift. PM2.5 levels at the back kitchen and PM10 levels at the brick oven exceeded the 24h US-EPA NAAQ and WHO mean standards. The brick oven had the highest concentrations of PM compared to the other cooking sites.

Conclusion: The increased concentration of PM could be associated with increased cooking activities and the number of staff.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.