People have been urged to open the windows when cooking Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner causes a spike in indoor pollution

Christmas dinner causes a spike in indoor pollution

It has been discovered that indoor pollution in a person's home reaches an annual high on December 25 - with the preparation of the festive meal being cited as a major cause for the spike.

Experts in the US analysed indoor pollution levels for nearly 4,000 households and found that the greatest number of "large emission events" occurred on Christmas Day.

The rate of 0.31 events per day per home is 50 per cent larger than what was seen during the rest of the winter and significantly larger than the rate during the summer.

Dr. David Lunderberg, who led the study for the University of California, Berkeley, said: "As the winter months get colder and darker, we spend more time at home and more cooking - and this changes the air that we breathe.

"In our study of air quality data in thousands of homes, we see that indoor events that produce particles become more common in winter and during food-based holidays like Christmas.

"This study confirms prior research that identifies human activities, especially cooking, as important sources of indoor particles."