With all the talk of a gas stove ban you may want to know are gas stoves hazardous to your health. What are the risks and how can you minimize them?
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently discussed that they are looking into the risks to human health and the environment that are caused by gas stoves.
Richard Trumka Jr, a commissioner of CPSC, said “any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned” in an interview with Bloomberg.
Are Gas Stoves Being Banned?
So are gas stoves going to be banned? Not for now and the answer is now so black and white.
Soon after this rumors were flying about a gas stove ban and what that would mean. CPSC Chair, Alexander Hoehn-Saric, has since released a statement to clarify what is happening with gas stoves at the moment.
“Over the past several days, there has been a lot of attention paid to gas stove emissions and to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards. But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.
CPSC is researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks. CPSC also is actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves. And later this spring, we will be asking the public to provide us with information about gas stove emissions and potential solutions for reducing any associated risks. This is part of our product safety mission – learning about hazards and working to make products safer.”
While a gas stove ban is not likely in the future this does bring up a lot of questions about gas stoves and the risks.
Are gas stoves hazardous to your health?
The quick answer is yes, gas stoves can be hazardous to your health and the health of children.
When you cook with a gas stove it creates nitrogen dioxide, a known lung irritant. Nitrogen dioxide is also linked to childhood asthma, in 2019 it was estimated that almost two million cases of new childhood asthma worldwide were due to nitrogen dioxide pollution.
A recent study found that children living in households that cook with gas stoves are 42% more likely to have asthma. The data also showed that the higher the level of nitrogen dioxide, the more severe asthma symptoms were in both adults and children.
How can I make my gas stove safer?
There are ways to reduce your risks from gas stoves and nitrogen dioxide. The best thing you can do is make the switch to an electric stove. This can be expensive though and won’t work for everyone right away. There are other options that can help if you need to continue to use a gas stove.
If you are considering switching from gas to electric you can possibly get a rebate from the Inflation Reduction Act. This can help make the switch a lot more affordable.
The key is to increase good ventilation. This is important when reducing all forms of indoor air pollution. Take these steps to help increase your home’s ventilation:
- Use the range hood every time you cook. Often we only use the range hood when there is something smoking but it’s actually very useful for increasing ventilation and reducing the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air. Even if you just are going to boil water, turn it on. If you don’t have one consider looking into buying one.
- Open windows and doors. Opening any windows and doors you can will help get fresh air into your home and reduce the amount of nitrogen dioxide in the air.
- Use fans. A fan that vents to the outside are best but any fans to help circulate the air can help.
You can also reduce your use of your gas stove by using it efficiently. Always turn it off as soon as you are done using it and using the proper size pots and pans and using lids when possible so food heats up faster can help.
In conclusion, while gas stoves are not likely to be banned anytime soon and any ban would likely be only on new construction, it is still important to consider the health risks with using a gas stove.
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