They can cause asthma in children and they emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter into the air. But President Joe Biden does not support banning gas stoves.
Gas stoves have been coming under fire the last few years as more studies link them to bad health effects both for people and for the planet. An especially alarming study published last month in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health attributed nearly 13% of current childhood asthma in the U.S. to gas stoves. Across the U.S., 35% of household stoves are powered by natural gas. And in some states, such as California and New Jersey, the rates are double that.
Then there’s the environment. Not only can unburned natural gas escape before the flame ignites, but a Stanford University study found that more than 75% of methane that seeps out of our stoves escapes through imperfect pipe fittings when the stove is not even in use.
“Not my stove,” you might be saying. Yes, your stove.
The researchers found only one out of the 53 stoves measured in their study didn’t leak. While leaked methane won’t kill you directly, it’s a greenhouse gas. Researchers estimated that the 40 million gas stoves in the U.S. have roughly the same annual effect on global warming as a half million gas-powered cars.
“The President does not support banning gas stoves – and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is independent, is not banning gas stoves,” a White House spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday.
While the CPSC isn’t banning gas stoves, the commission thinks something needs to be done.
“CPSC is researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks,” said CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric in a statement. “CPSC also is actively engage in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves. And later this spring, we will be asking the public to provide us with information about gas stove emissions and potential solutions for reducing any associated risks.”
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