The Heated Debate Over Gas Stoves Explained

A US Federal Agency proposed a move that could concern your kitchen: a ban on gas stoves.

This comes on the heels of a recent study linking indoor gas cooking to 12.7% of childhood asthma cases in America.

Previous research revealed that gas stoves could release large amounts of nitrogen dioxide into the home, a pollutant that can trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions. The appliances can also leak methane even when turned off. This, in addition to other VOCs created through the cooking process, can contribute to high levels of indoor air pollution.

“Short-term exposure to NO2 is linked to worsening asthma in children, and long-term exposure has been determined to likely cause the development of asthma,” a group of lawmakers said in a letter to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. This led to the agency suggesting they would take a look at regulations on the popular appliance.

However, after a heated debate over the matter on capitol hill, the chairman of the US CPSC is walking back the notion that gas stoves would be banned in the U.S. “I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” said Alexander Hoehn-Saric. He goes on to suggest the agency would consider ways to make stoves safer in the future.

Though certain states may take matters into their own hands. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is proposing banning fossil fuel infrastructure in the state, including lines that power gas stoves and furnaces, in smaller new residential buildings by 2025 and larger ones by 2028.

In the meantime, a few things can help minimize your risk when using gas for cooking indoors.

Always use your range hood (if you have one) when cooking on the stovetop, or open a window in the kitchen to ventilate. This is especially important for smaller kitchens and smaller homes.

Use alternate appliances such as a crockpot, air fryer, microwave, or toaster oven whenever possible.

If your oven has a convection setting, learn to use it. This can help reduce the amount of time your oven is on.

You can also consider switching to electric.

Proponents of the measure claim that the move is not feasible.

“A ban on gas cooking appliances would remove an affordable and preferred technology used in more than 40% of home across the country,” Jill Notini, industry spokesperson, said in a statement. ” A ban of gas cooking would fail to address the overall concern of indoor air quality while cooking, because all forms of cooking, regardless of heat source, generate air pollutants, especially at high temperatures.”

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