Kitchen Range Hoods

Cooking Activities Compromise Indoor Air Quality:
A Good Range Hood Can Improve Your Family’s Health

Click here for the recording from our webinar on 12/15/20 Keep a Lid On It: Best Practices for Reducing Cooking Pollution in Homes, presented by Tom Phillips. 

December 2019 Update is now available.


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

Thomas J. Phillips (Tom) spent over 30 years working at the intersection of research and policy addressing public health, pollution, and buildings. While at the Research Division of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) from 1985 to 2009, he designed and managed research contracts on human activity patterns, indoor and personal air exposure monitoring, air cleaning, emissions testing, and building ventilation. He produced guidelines on indoor combustion pollutants and air cleaning devices, and helped update California’s air quality and building ventilation standards.

Tom also served as a technical advisor to national, state, and local agencies and NGOs on various IAQ issues and green building programs for homes, schools, and offices. Since 2010 Tom has served as the principal scientist at Healthy Building Research, where he co-authored a research roadmap for indoor environmental quality in net zero energy buildings and retrofits for California’s energy program through 2030. The scope of his consulting work also includes climate change adaptation to extreme heat, resilient buildings and communities, training and communication, and policy and regulation.



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. Valerie Urso provided excellent production assistance. We are especially thankful to The Heinz Endowments for partial support for this project (

ROCIS would also like to acknowledge the valuable input provided for the Range Hood Guidance Document. The industry professionals listed below helped to shape the accuracy and presentation of the document.

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