The Cooking Electrification and Ventilation Improvements for Children’s Asthma (CEVICA)

This study aims to inform state policies related to decarbonization and energy equity by quantifying the indoor air quality (IAQ) and health benefits of cooking electrification and exposure reduction interventions in the homes of children with asthma

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Recipient

Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location

9th

Senate District

15th

Assembly District

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$1,166,177

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

The kick-off meeting for the project was held on October 17, 2022. All subcontracts for four institutions that are partnering with LBNL: the Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC), the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), UCSF and UCLA are executed. All elements of the project planning are progressing including human subjects protocols, monitoring equipment, training, and contracts with electricians. Project partners have been working on the specific plan for sequencing of outreach, recruitment, confirmation of eligibility and intake.

The Issue

Natural gas cooking burners introduce air pollutants into homes in quantities that can exceed health hazard thresholds. Pollutants from gas burners include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a respiratory irritant, and carbon monoxide (CO). Homes with gas cooking thus have higher concentrations of these air pollutants than homes with electric cooking. Both gas cooking and household NO2 levels are thought to contribute to asthma and other breathing symptoms in children. Frying and some other cooking activities emit fine particulate matter (PM2.5), acrolein, and other chemicals that can reach hazardous levels in homes when not properly vented. Burner- and cooking-related air pollutants reach higher concentrations in homes that are smaller and have more cooking. The potential burden of this hazard is thus thought to be higher in low-income households, which also tend to have higher rates of childhood asthma. Kitchen exhaust ventilation can be used to remove a fraction of the generated burner and cooking pollutants before they mix into the home. However, many existing homes in California do not have operational or adequate kitchen ventilation. Even when available, cooking ventilation is often not used effectively to reduce pollutant exposures. Solutions to reduce exposure to cooking-related air pollutants are less accessible to renters and low-income homeowners. Programs that provide home-based asthma management services or more general healthy housing improvements to low-income households rarely cover the costs of switching from gas to electric cooking and inconsistently cover kitchen ventilation retrofits.

Project Innovation

The Cooking Electrification and Ventilation Improvements for Children’s Asthma (CEVICA) study aims to inform state policies related to decarbonization and energy equity by quantifying the indoor air quality (IAQ) and health benefits of cooking electrification and exposure reduction interventions in the homes of children with asthma in three disadvantaged communities in California’s Central Valley.

The CEVICA project will advance knowledge by conducting a factorial, randomized control trial (RCT) to test the separate and synergistic impacts of (a) replacing a gas stove / range with an electric induction range and (b) verifying the availability of kitchen exhaust ventilation and educating and encouraging its use during all cooking. A companion randomized crossover study will quantify the IAQ and asthma health impacts of shifting cooking from a gas range to 120V countertop electric appliances, a more broadly accessible method that can provide immediate benefits to renters, homes with limited electrical service, and others unable to upgrade to an electric range. The IAQ and health benefits, costs, and deployment potential of the cooking electrification approaches will be compared to other air pollutant exposure mitigations, including kitchen ventilation and air cleaner use with real-time information from a low-cost IAQ monitor.

Project Goals

To understand impacts of cooking electrification on indoor air quality and respiratory health of children with asthma.

Project Benefits

This study aims to inform state policies related to decarbonization and energy equity by quantifying the indoor air quality (IAQ) and health benefits of cooking electrification and exposure reduction interventions in the homes of children with asthma.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The study benefits include lower greenhouse gas emissions from advancing electrification. Project benefits environment by eliminating sources of climate pollutants from the residential sector. It will also provide evidence of health benefits/impacts of electrification interventions in California homes, leading to potential improved health of vulnerable populations and potential health savings.

Equity

Equity

The study will directly deploy electric cooking technologies and other interventions including mechanical ventilation to reduce exposures to cooking-related air pollutants in low-income and disadvantaged households within the selected communities in the San Joaquin Valley. The project will provide capacity-building within the CBOs to deploy electric technologies with community involvement and provide a model for other communities.

Increase Safety

Safety

Reduced risk of fire and burns with induction cooktops compared to gas or coil-electric.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Brett Singer

Staff Scientist

Subrecipients

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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The Regents of the University of California on behalf of the Los Angeles Campus

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Association for Energy Affordability

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Central California Asthma Collaborative

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University of California, San Francisco

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Central California Environmental Justice Network

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Little Manila Foundation

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Match Partners

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U.S. Department of Energy

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Broan-NuTone

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Upcoming Events

Past Events

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