LBNL Report Number
Cooking of food and use of natural gas cooking burners generate pollutants that can have substantial impacts on residential indoor air quality. The extent of these impacts depends on cooking frequency, duration and specific food preparation activities in addition to the extent to which exhaust fans or other ventilation measures (e.g. windows) are used during cooking. With the intent of improving our understanding of indoor air quality impacts of cooking-related pollutants, we created, posted and advertised a web-based survey about cooking activities in residences. The survey included questions similar to those in California's Residential Appliance Saturation Survey (RASS), relating to home, household and cooking appliance characteristics and weekly patterns of meals cooked. Other questions targeted the following information not captured in the RASS: (1) oven vs. cooktop use, the number of cooktop burners used and the duration of burner use when cooking occurs, (2) specific cooking activities, (3) the use of range hood or window to increase ventilation during cooking, and (4) occupancy during cooking. Specific cooking activity questions were asked about the prior 24 hours with the assumption that most people are able to recollect activities over this time period. We examined inter-relationships among cooking activities and patterns and relationships of cooking activities to household demographics. We did not seek to obtain a sample of respondents that is demographically representative of the California population but rather to inexpensively gather information from homes spanning ranges of relevant characteristics including the number of residents and presence or absence of children. This report presents the survey, the responses obtained, and limited analysis of the results.