Cooking with charcoal, wood leads to indoor pollution

COOKING with the use of charcoal and wood contributes to indoor pollution, according to the City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO).

CENRO head Engr. Noel Hechanova said that charcoals emit particulate matters that could enter the lungs.

“Here in Iloilo, one of the major sources of pollution is indoor cooking especially from charcoal and wood. It releases emission similar to vehicle exhaust. The smaller it is, the more dangerous it is for the lungs,” Hechanova said.

To address the problem, Hechanova said the city government has already conducted an information and education campaign (IEC) to inform the public of the ill effects of indoor cooking.

Part of the campaign is promoting green cook stove and advising the public to cook at areas with ventilation and chimney.

“We are the only city who has this program on indoor pollution,” Hechanova added.

Indoor cooking will also be one of the major topics during the Clean Air Summit in June 2019 to be hosted by Iloilo City together with the Clean Air Asia, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners, and Philippine League of Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PLENRO)

The national event will gather around 600 environmental officers in the country.

ADB also funded the research survey on indoor cooking practices in the country, which piloted in Iloilo City and Cabanatuan.

For Iloilo City, it was carried out by CENRO with help from the University of the Philippines-Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology. The survey covers 200 random households in the city.

Hechanova said the scoping activity already started last week, with the survey expected to be completed in two weeks.

Each household is requested to cook and the indoor pollutants will be measured. The result will be presented during the summit where an action plan will be crafted. Another topic to be discussed in the summit is the transport plan for outdoor pollution.

Hechanova reported that traffic is the major cause of outdoor pollution, based on the 2012 survey of the German Technical Cooperation in Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro.

“When there is traffic, vehicles stop and there are emissions. ‘Stop and go’ is very bad,” he said.

The summit is designed for environmental officers who are expected to apply their learning to their respective areas, Hechanova added.


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