Study: Air Pollution From Grilled Burgers Worse Than Trucks

HESPERIA (CBSLA.com) — A UC Riverside study found that commercially cooked hamburgers cause more air pollution than diesel trucks.

The study, which focused on commercial charbroilers found in burger restaurants, said the equipment generates grease, smoke, water vapors and combustion products, which emit a large amount of particulate matter into the air.

“For comparison, an 18-wheeler diesel engine truck would have to drive 143 miles on the freeway to put out the same mass of particulates as a single charbroiled hamburger patty,” said Bill Welch, the principle engineer.

Researchers also found few regulations for the restaurant emissions.

Customers at a Hesperia burger joint said you can’t compare diesel emissions with hamburger smoke.

“Either way, we’re living in a world (where) we’re still going through pollution. But the difference is we are getting some type of benefit from (the burger),” said Maria Segura.

The UCR study is co-funded by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

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