Could disturbing health findings mean the end of gas stoves?

Health

(NewsNation) — Cooking with a gas stove could soon be a thing of the past.

A federal agency is considering a ban on gas stoves due to concerns about indoor pollution being linked to childhood asthma, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

According to the December 2022 study, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner told Bloomberg, using gas stoves has a “hidden hazard.”

Researchers say the chemicals emitted from the appliances while in use are a “significant trigger,” saying that nitrogen dioxide (NO2), in particular, is known to cause respiratory distress and asthma attacks.

A ban on gas ranges would impact about 40 million homes in the U.S.

Gas stoves are often preferred by those who want to pay a fraction of the price of an electric range. But the new research linking gas stoves to childhood asthma has some federal officials contemplating change.

The study, from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that nearly 13% of childhood asthma cases can be attributed to gas stove use — similar to secondhand smoke.

The same month the study was released, Sens. Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to the chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urging the commission to protect Americans.

“Gas stoves emit high levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter known to exacerbate respiratory conditions,” the letter read, in part.

Black, Latino and low-income households are disproportionately more likely to experience the air pollution.

Jill Notini with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers believes the focus should be on ventilation and that a ban on gas cooking would remove an affordable technology for more than 40% of kitchens.

“So to look at something like a ban that would threaten jobs would require factories to have to retool. That would have a tremendous impact on the industry,” said Notini.

Gas stoves are also preferred by professional chefs, many of whom — including restaurant owner and Food Network judge Andrew Gruel — are not happy with the proposed ban.

“In protest of the suggested ban on gas stoves, I’m staying taped to this stove forever,” Gruel wrote on Twitter.

In 2021, New York City became the largest city to ban natural gas hookups for new construction. Starting this year, new buildings with fewer than seven stories will not be allowed to use gas for cooking or space heating. San Francisco and Berkeley, California, have also enforced a similar initiative in an effort to reduce greenhouse emissions.

The safety commission has not proposed any regulatory action at this time and said any future action would involve a lengthy process.

NewsNation affiliate WPRI contributed to this report.

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