Jump to main content.


  Project Summary, Emissions From Street Vendor Cooking Devices (Charcoal Grilling) (4 pp, 68 KB) (EPA/600/SR-99/048) June 1999

This report discusses a joint U.S./Mexican program to establish a reliable emissions inventory for street vendor cooking devices (charcoal grilling), a significant source of air pollutants in the Mexicali-Imperial Valley area of Mexico.

Emissions from these devices, prevalent in the streets of Mexicali, Mexico, were investigated experimentally by measuring levels of particulate matter, particle size distributions, volatile and semivolatile organic compounds, aldehydes, and oxides of nitrogen and sulfur emitted when meat is cooked on a grill over a charcoal fire. The test grill simulated the street vendor cooking devices in Mexicali.

To investigate the emission rate, both beef and chicken were tested. Furthermore, both meats were marinated with a mixture similar to that used by the street vendors. Difficulties in obtaining enough Mexicali charcoal necessitated using local charcoal for some of the tests. Both types of charcoal were compared to ensure similar physical and chemical properties. Some tests were conducted with nonmarinated beef for comparison. Two blank runs were performed sampling charcoal fires without meat.

Finally, a simple control device, normally used in an exhaust fan to trap grease over a kitchen stove, was evaluated for its effectiveness in reducing emissions. All emissions except sulfur dioxide measured during the runs appeared to be reasonable.


Paul Lemieux

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page.
See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.