“You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” (Leviticus 19:18)
A few days ago, I noticed several politicians (including our Governor) ranting about gas stoves on TV. I had no idea what they were talking about, so I decided to do some research on my own.
Governor DeSantis claims that the Federal government is about to ban indoor gas stoves, and he is standing up for our rights by stopping this terrible overreach in Florida.
There Is More To The Story
I am not trying to make a political statement, but I suspected there was more to the story than “government overreach” (which, just like the Governor, I don’t like).
So, I spent some time looking this up and discovered there appears to be emerging research suggesting that there are significant health risks to indoor gas stoves, which makes sense since indoor gas stoves cook by lighting a fire inside our houses. And, like any other fire, gas stove fires emit unhealthy toxic fumes.
If I set fire to furniture indoors, I think it would be reasonable to assume that the air quality would be bad. So, why is it different with stoves burning hydrocarbons in our homes? The short answer is it isn’t different.
What You Need To Know
Gas stoves are totally safe…unless your family has young children or adults with respiratory problems.
Gas stoves produce certain noxious fumes that hurt our respiratory system. One academic source suggested that gas stoves have more bad fumes than second-hand smoke.
Gas stove fumes hurt children’s lungs more than adults’ and constitute a significant factor causing childhood asthma.
How bad are gas stoves for kids?
According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and the American Medical Association, gas stoves are linked to approximately 13% of all childhood asthma cases. Given that only 35% of American households have a gas stove, that is an astronomical asthma risk factor.
According to Good Housekeeping
These recent developments — as well as additional data from the 1990s to as recent as 2014 — prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to announce it would consider new forms of regulation on gas stoves.
Lawmakers are currently debating whether or not regulation should be implemented that could require gas stoves to be sold with a hood that vents to the outdoors among other proposals, per Bloomberg, but others in the healthcare field are seizing the moment to educate American families about ways to improve their kitchen hygiene…
…Many risks can be reduced by better ventilation in your kitchen, explains Nicole Papantoniou, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances & Innovation Lab Director. That all starts with the hooded vent above your oven, which should be turned on well before you begin cooking — and regularly cleaned to avoid poor circulation.
Now I am not a scientist, but I got to thinking…if gas stoves hurt kids, are they healthy for adults?
Gas stove emissions aren’t suitable for adults either and are a potentially big problem for adults with respiratory problems such as asthma and COPD.
Will the government mandate that you rip out your gas stove and spend thousands of dollars to retrofit your home?
Not a chance (and not because of the current hysteria).
What is the government likely to do?
I am not a wizard that predicts the future.
But, sometimes, I still like to look into my crystal ball.
And my crystal ball is telling me that the government will work on low-cost options for consumers to improve their kitchen ventilation and/or scrub gas stove emissions.
The issue of gas stoves will likely migrate through the regulatory and public health authorities so that over time, new sales of indoor gas stoves will be made safer (through better ventilation).
What Should You Do?
If you have a gas stove, improve your kitchen ventilation.
Get a fan or open your window when you cook.
If you want to get fancy, consider using your ventilation hood (assuming the hood vents outside).
The problem with gas stoves is basic, and the solutions are common sense.
Please call if you want to learn more or speak about any other issue.