Kitchen Range Hoods

Cooking Activities Compromise IAQ:
A Good Range Hood Can Improve Your Family’s Health

Experience from the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project has confirmed that cooking activities appear to be the largest indoor source of particle generation in Pittsburgh houses. The more you cook, the more particles are created. But, our monitoring only reveals part of the stew of emissions.

In general, cooking emits odors, moisture, and other air pollutants into homes, whether done with a gas or an electric appliance. Breathing these pollutants can significantly increase the risk of both short-term and long-term health effects.

However, there is a solution: a properly installed and operated vented range hood that is quiet and effective in removing air pollutants.

Everybody who cooks with a stove or oven needs to use a range hood – especially if your household includes children, persons with asthma or other respiratory diseases, and the elderly. Anybody planning a new home, remodel, or replacement of any range hood should take advantage of the opportunity to install a better range hood system.

The ROCIS ISSUE BRIEF, Ducted Range Hoods: Recommendations for New and Existing Homes summarizes best practices for selecting, installing, and operating a quiet and effective hood. Both consumers and building professionals will find it useful. If you want to provide better air for your family, it is well worth reading!

Regardless of whether or not a home has an effective range hood there are ways to help reduce exposure to cooking pollution. These are also addressed and include cooking on the back burner, covering pots with lids, pre-cooking with a microwave, and cooking at lower temperatures.

This Brief benefited from the review of over a dozen technical experts from the U.S. and Canada, and from the extensive research on cooking pollution, its health impacts, and its control in the home.

Research and development on cooking pollution and how to better reduce our exposures continues. To submit suggestions for updating this Brief, please click here.

Downloadable PDFs

About the author

Tom Phillips, ROCIS Principal Investigator
In his decades of work at the California Air Resources Board’s IAQ and Personal Exposure Program, Tom produced IAQ guidelines on combustion pollutants and air cleaning devices. He also helped design research projects on residential cooking, indoor particle exposures, residential ventilation, and human behavior. Tom currently advises NGOs and friends on how to achieve a healthy and resilient home. He likes to cook and installed his first quiet range hood for his family in 1992.


Fellow ROCIS team members Linda Wigington, Don Fugler, and Rob Busher provided the encouragement and assistance that made this project happen. Numerous technical experts provided invaluable input on draft versions of this document, helping to greatly improve this version. The creativity and generosity of the numerous researchers who provided the evidence supporting this document was amazing. We are especially thankful to the Heinz Foundation for partial support for this project.

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.