The possibility of a ban on gas stoves has been raised by a federal agency in response to mounting concerns about dangerous indoor air pollutants released by this equipment.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission intends to address the pollution, which can lead to health and respiratory issues. As per LA Times, an agency commissioner, Richard Trumka Jr., stated in an interview, “This is a concealed risk.” “Every possibility is on the table. “Products that cannot be rendered safe are subject to bans.”
Natural gas stoves, which are used in approximately forty percent of U.S. households, emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter at levels the Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization have deemed unsafe and linked to respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other health conditions, according to reports by the Institute for Policy Integrity and the American Chemical Society.
In October, Consumer Reports encouraged consumers in the market for a new range to consider an electric model after testing revealed that gas stoves emit significant levels of nitrogen oxide.
In May, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban the majority of gas appliances in new houses and other construction, joining New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. The California Air Resources Board committed to a plan in September that will make California the first U.S. state to phase out all new gas-fueled furnaces and water heaters in residential buildings.
More than 12 percent of current childhood asthma diagnoses in the United States can be attributable to gas stove use, according to a study published last month in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The strongest evidence is on children and children’s asthma, according to Brady Seals, manager of the carbon-free buildings program at the non-profit clean energy organization RMI and co-author of the study. By having a gas hookup, we are damaging our homes’ interiors.
Later this winter, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which employs approximately 500 people, will accept public comments on the dangers presented by gas stoves. In addition to prohibiting the production or import of gas stoves, Trumka suggested establishing emission regulations for the appliances.
The panel has been urged by legislators to explore mandating warning labels, range hoods, and performance criteria. In a December letter to the agency, lawmakers including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) labeled gas stove emissions a “cumulative burden” on Black, Latino, and low-income homes that face air pollution disproportionately.
State and municipal governments are pursuing the broader use of natural gas in buildings in an effort to limit climate-warming emissions (like methane) that exacerbate climate change. Nearly 100 cities and counties have established rules mandating or encouraging the transition away from buildings powered by fossil fuels.
The New York City Council voted in 2021 to prohibit the installation of natural gas connections in new structures with fewer than seven floors by the end of this year. In September, the California Air Resources Board decided overwhelmingly to prohibit the sale of natural gas-powered furnaces and water heaters by 2030.
The big climate spending measure enacted into law in August may provide assistance to consumers who choose to move from gas to electric ranges. The Inflation Reduction Act contains rebates of up to $840 for the purchase of new electric ranges as part of around $4.5 billion in funding to assist low- and moderate-income families in electrifying their homes.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, which represents gas range manufacturers such as Whirlpool Corp., asserts that cooking emits and creates toxic byproducts regardless of the type of stove used.
Ventilation, not outlawing a specific type of technology, should be the focus of this discussion, according to Jill Notini, vice president of the Washington-based trade association. “Banning one type of cooking device will not address the overall indoor air quality concerns. We may need a shift in habit; people may need to turn on their range hoods when cooking.”
Natural gas distributors, whose business is threatened by the growing push to electrify households, claim that a ban on natural gas stoves would increase the cost of heating for homeowners and restaurants while providing little environmental benefit.
The American Gas Association, which represents utilities such as Dominion Energy Inc. and DTE Energy Co., stated in a statement that regulatory and advisory authorities tasked with safeguarding the health and safety of residential consumers have not recorded any concerns associated with gas stoves.
“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and EPA do not list gas ranges as a substantial contributor to poor air quality or health danger in their technical or public information literature, recommendations, or regulations,” the group’s president, Karen Harbert, stated. “The most practical and feasible method to reach a sustainable future in which energy is clean, as well as safe, reliable, and inexpensive, is to integrate natural gas and its transport infrastructure.”
In contrast, Republicans denounced the prospective action as a government overreach. Mike McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist, stated, “If the CPSC truly cared about public health, it would outlaw cigarettes or vehicles long before it addressed stoves.” It is manifestly political.
Trumka stated that the commission’s proposal might be issued as early as this year, but he noted that this would be “very fast.” “There is a common notion that if you want to make a gourmet meal, you must use gas,” said Trumka. It is a skillfully crafted myth.