A federal agency is considering banning gas stoves, a source of indoor pollution linked to childhood asthma.
In an interview with BloombergA US consumer product safety commissioner has said that using a gas stove is a “hidden danger”.
“Every option is on the table. Products that cannot be made safe can be banned,” agency commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg. The report said the agency plans to “take action” to address indoor pollution caused by the stoves.
The CPSC has been mulling action against gas stoves for months. It’s a rush recommended in October that the CPSC is seeking public comment on the dangers associated with gas stoves. Pollutants have been linked to asthma and worsening respiratory conditions.
A December 2022 study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that indoor gas stove use was associated with an increased risk of current asthma among children. The study found that nearly 13 percent of current childhood asthma in the U.S. is attributable to gas stove use.
Trumka told Bloomberg that the agency plans to open public comment on the dangers of the gas stove. Options other than a ban include “setting standards for appliance emissions.”
Thirty-five percent of households in the United States use a gas stove and counting approaching 70% in some states such as California and New Jersey. others studies have found that these stoves emit significant levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter—which, without proper ventilation, can raise indoor concentration levels to dangerous levels, as deemed by the EPA.
“Short-term exposure to NO2 is linked to worsening asthma in children, and long-term exposure likely causes asthma to develop,” a group of lawmakers said in a letter of chairman Aleksandar Hyon-Sarich, adding that it can also worsen cardiovascular disease.
The letter — with Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Elizabeth Warren among its signatories — argues that blacks, Hispanics and low-income households are more likely to be affected by these adverse reactions because they are more likely to live near a waste incinerator or coal plant ash or you are in a home with poor ventilation.
In a statement to CNN, the CPSC said the agency has not proposed any regulatory action on gas stoves at this time, and any regulatory action would “involve a lengthy process.”
“Agency staff plan to begin gathering data and public input on the potential hazards associated with gas stoves and proposed solutions to those hazards later this year,” the commission said in a statement. “Commission staff also continue to work with voluntary standards organizations to investigate emissions from gas stoves and address potential hazards.”
Some US cities natural gas connection prohibited in all new building construction to reduce greenhouse emissions – Berkeley in 2019, San Francisco in 2020, New York in 2021. But as of last February, 20 states with GOP-controlled legislatures have passed so-called “preemption laws” that prohibit cities from banning natural gas.
“To me, that’s what’s interesting about this new trend, it seems like states are trying to eliminate the opportunity before cities try to capture it,” Sara Fox, an associate professor of law at Northern Illinois School of Law, told CNN last year . “The natural gas industry… was very aggressive for us to accept.’
In a statement to CNN Business, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers said improving ventilation is the solution to preventing indoor air pollution during cooking.
“A ban on gas cooking appliances would eliminate an affordable and preferred technology used in more than 40 percent of homes nationwide,” Jill Notini, an industry spokeswoman, said in a statement. “A ban on gas cooking will fail to address overall concerns about indoor air quality during cooking, as all forms of cooking, regardless of heat source, generate air pollutants, especially at high temperatures.”
The American Gas Association railed against the natural gas ban in a blog post post in December, saying it makes housing more expensive because “electric homes require expensive retrofits.”
However, Biden’s signature deflationary law includes a discount up to $840 for an electric stove or other electrical appliances and up to $500 to cover the cost of switching to electricity from gas.
— CNN’s Ella Nielsen contributed to this report.
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