Burnt toast can expose people to more pollution than if they were standing at a busy road intersection.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found burnt toast was especially harmful and the safest way was to “go for gold” – allowing the bread to turn a light gold color.


Toasters sent toxic particles into the air the moment they are switched on.

"When you make toast, the heating element starts warming up the debris and gunk in the toaster which includes oils.”

“Add to that the bread itself - it’s going to emit a range of things."

They "found ethanol, a by-product of yeast."

“If there’s tiny pieces of bread touching the heating element you can see the smoke, maybe from crumbs at the bottom of the toaster - they will all make a lot of particles.

“It led to what would be considered ‘very unhealthy’ air pollution levels if compared to outdoor air quality standards.”

Other pollutants included cleaning agents, especially household sprays, and air-purifiers which give off scents when plugged in to a socket.

Scented candles and wood-burning stoves were also found to be powerful polluters.



The research found that when bread was turned golden brown particle concentrations in the surrounding air surge to between 300 and 400 micrograms per cubic meter.

When toast was allowed to turn dark brown, then the particle levels soared to 3,000-4,000 micrograms per cubic meter, up to more than 150 times the recommended limit.