US agency considering gas stove ban over asthma links

A US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has revealed plans to potentially put a stop to sales of new gas-fired products which cannot be ‘made safe’, with the promise of support for those looking to switch.

The ‘hidden hazard’ posed by gas stove usage was highlighted in an interview with commissioner Richard Trumka Jr., published by Bloomberg, with a clear message that his organisation was looking to ‘take action’ to tackle the indoor air pollution some appliances are linked to. 

close up photo of burning wood

According to reports, gas stoves are fitted in more than 40m American homes, with concern mounting for some time over the nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO2), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) they emit, with levels often in breach of both the US Environment Protection Agency and World Health Organisation maximum safe limits. Research published in December by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, suggests around 12% of childhood asthma cases in the States can be linked to gas stoves. 

‘Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,’ commissioner Trumka Jr. said in the interview. ‘To be clear, CPSC isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves,’ he commented on Twitter as the story rippled online. ‘Regulations apply to new products. For Americans who choose to switch from gas and electric, there is support available.’ 

Among the social media commentators was Michael Thomas, an environmental writer and journalist who — among other things — is behind the Distilled newsletter and editorial platform, which earlier this week carried an article summarising his own study on the impact of gas appliances in the home. 

He found that each night the gas stove or oven was used in his own home, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), widely considered one of the most damaging air pollutants, recorded significant spikes. Only Tuesdays, when the household would order in takeaway, bucked this trend. More worryingly, the largest increase in recorded measurements was observed through the night, corresponding with use of a gas furnace for heating. 

You can read a full account of his work here, or you can revisit our interview with Healthy Air Tech’s Chunli Cao on the threat posed by indoor air pollution





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1 year ago

Good points, thank you. If a ban on the gas cookers were to happen in UK, could we please stop the wood and pellet stoves too? And what about gas central heating? Does that also emit large and dangerpous amounts of NO2? I would imagine the gas boilers for central heating burn faster, hotter and mroe efficiently than a gas cooker/stove and the boilers would be sending the fumes into the outside air (mostly) but on a housing estate all using this system, would that be problematic? Has anyone studied this too? If the gas has to go, how shall the UK stay warm and have hot dinners? Please don’t say … more wood burning!

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