New method to track pollution from cooking

Beijing, Aug 25 (IANS) Researchers have found that black carbon is a good tracer to separate cooking organic aerosol from traffic-related pollution, paving the way for a new method to track pollution from cooking.

Cooking organic aerosol is one of the most important primary sources of pollution in urban environments.

By applying the black carbon tracer method to several datasets in megacities of Beijing and Nanjing, the researchers found that cooking organic aerosol contributed 15-27 per cent to total organic aerosol in summer.

The findings published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters suggest that air quality improvements in developing countries could benefit substantially from the reduction of cooking emissions.

There is growing evidence that exposure to cooking oil fumes is linked to lung cancer, the study said.

A new method to separate cooking organic aerosol from traffic-related pollution is needed as it is often challenging to separate cooking organic aerosol from traffic-related organic aerosol due to the similarity of their unit mass resolution spectra.

“Considering that aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) has been increasingly deployed worldwide for routine measurements of aerosol particle composition, our study might have significant implications for better source apportionment of OA ( organic aerosol) and exposure studies in the future,” said Yele Sun, Professor from Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science.



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