The Consumer Product Safety Commission plans to take action — up to and including banning methane gas-burning stoves — to protect the public from the “hidden hazard” they pose, agency commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg. Gas stoves release air pollution including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and PM2.5 into families’ homes at levels that would be illegal if they were outdoors.
Recent research revealed 12.7% of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. are attributable to gas stoves and Members of Congress called on the CPSC late last year to address the health hazards of gas stoves and Trumka’s comments to Bloomberg are consistent with remarks he made in mid-December and reflect CPSC minutes from earlier in the fall directing CPSC staff to investigate the hazards posed by gas stoves.
Even when turned off, gas stoves can leak significant amounts of heat-trapping methane as well as numerous other toxic and carcinogenic pollutants including “BTEX” chemicals (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene).
Despite this, and the fact that many homes’ cooking hoods merely recirculate air within the home, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers echoed messaging employed by the fossil fuel industry and sought to blame home cooks for the air pollution released by their stoves, telling Bloomberg, “We may need some behavior change, we may need [people] to turn on their hoods when cooking.”
Induction cooktops are gaining in popularity both for their safety and culinary quality. “There is this misconception that if you want to do fine-dining kind of cooking it has to be done on gas,” Trumka said. “It’s a carefully manicured myth.” (Bloomberg $, Scary Mommy, Gizmodo, Tech Crunch, CNN, Mother Jones, Yahoo, OilPrice, Motley Fool, New York Post, Washington Examiner, Fox Business)