That charbroiled burger may be delicious but it is polluting the air you breathe. If burger lovers did not have enough to worry about, new research has found that burgers are just as harmful to the ozone layer as a diesel truck.
Commercial charbroilers are countertop grills that are made for grilling hot and fast food. These particular grills that are used to cook the burgers we love, emit twice the amount of pollution as a diesel truck. Researchers from the University of California Riverside discovered commercial charbroilers emit a substantial amount of matter into the air we breathe. The study, which was conducted at CE-CERT test laboratory, Center for Environmental Research and Technology, analyzed commercial cooking equipment.
According to the study, commercial cooking equipment produces a substantial amount of grease, smoke, heat, water vapor and combustion products. Additionally, in 2007, the Air Quality Management Plan, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), determined "Emissions from commercial charbroilers are a very significant uncontrolled source of particulate matter...more than twice the contribution by all of the heavy-duty diesel trucks." Said Bill Welch, principal development engineer for the study at UC Riverside's Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-Cert), "For comparison, an 18-wheeler diesel-engine truck would have to drive 143 miles on the freeway to put out the same mass of particles as a single charbroiled hamburger patty."
Researchers believe a solution may be a device that removes the grease from the exhaust and traps it in water. Welch and colleagues are currently evaluating the air stream released by the commercial charbroiler before and after they pass through the control device and measure how effective it is.
Welch will be testing this device by "cooking a lot of hamburger patties," however; following the emission testing the hamburger patties are donated to a Redlands Regional Food Bank.
The study was co-founded by South Coast Air Quality Management District.