Democrats sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Wednesday asking for stronger regulation of gas stoves due to the indoor air pollution and negative health impacts they cause. Gas stoves can produce dangerous levels of indoor air pollution and even when turned off, 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).

The effort was championed by Senator Cory Booker (N.J.) and Rep. Don Beyer (Va.). “As you know, the CPSC has broad authority under the Consumer Product Safety Act to regulate consumer products that pose an unreasonable risk of injury,” the lawmakers wrote. “We ask the CPSC to explicitly evaluate the disparate health outcomes that occur from the coupling of gas stoves with the material realities to which the most vulnerable Americans are subjected.”

The CPSC will be soliciting information in the coming months on the dangers posed by gas stoves to human health. Citing the pollution emitted by stoves, Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said, “We need to be talking about regulating gas stoves,” and called phasing out new gas stoves “a real possibility.” (Washington Post $)