US safety agency considers gas stove ban amid health concerns

One The federal agency says a ban on gas stoves is being considered amid growing concern about harmful indoor air pollutants released by these appliances.

US Consumer Product Safety Commission has an action plan to tackle Pollutioncan cause health and breathing problems.

“This is a potential hazard,” Richard Trumka Jr., the agency commissioner, said in an interview. “All options are on the table. Unsafe products may be banned.”

Natural gas stoves, used in about 40% of homes in the United States, emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter at levels recommended by the EPA and the World Health Organization. considered unsafe and associated with respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. health problems, cancer and other health conditions, according to the report by groups such as the Institute for Policy Integrity and the American Chemical Society. Consumer Newspaperin October, urged consumers planning to buy a new product line to consider switching to electricity after tests conducted by the group revealed high levels of nitrogen oxide gas from gas stoves.

Read more: The best stove for your health and the environment

New peer-reviewed research published last month in International journal of environmental research and public health found that more than 12% of current childhood asthma cases in the US can be attributed to gas stove use.

“There are about 50 years of health research showing that gas stoves are bad for our health, and the strongest evidence is in children and childhood asthma,” said Brady Seals, court program manager. zero-carbon home at the nonprofit clean energy group. RMI and a co-author of the study. “By connecting gas, we are polluting the inside of our homes.”

The Bethesda, Maryland-based Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has about 500 employees, plans to publicly comment on the hazards posed by gas stoves later this winter. In addition to banning the manufacture or import of gas stoves, options include setting standards for emissions from appliances, Trumka said.

lawmakers considered, asked the committee to review the requirement for warning labels, hoods and operating standards. In a letter to the agency in December, lawmakers including Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Representative Don Beyer of Virginia, both Democrats, urged action and called for gas. Gas stove emissions are a “cumulative burden” on Black, Latino and low-income households. disproportionately polluted air.

Parallel efforts by state and local policymakers are targeting more widespread use of natural gas in buildings, promoting reductions in climate-warming emissions. such as from methane) exacerbating climate change. Nearly 100 Cities and counties have adopted policies that require or encourage the removal of fossil fuel-powered buildings. In 2021, the New York City Council voted to ban natural gas connections in new buildings smaller than seven stories later this year. The California Air Resources Board unanimously voted in September to ban the sale of natural gas-fired furnaces and water heaters by 2030.

Read more: Your gas stove can leak benzene into your stove even when it’s turned off

Consumers looking to switch from gas to electricity can get some help from the massive climate spending bill signed into law in August. The Inflation Reduction Act includes rebates of up to $840 on purchases of new electric lines as part of a $4.5 billion grant to help low- and middle-income households electricity for their home.

The Home Appliance Manufacturers Association, which represents gas line manufacturers like Whirlpool Corp., says that cooking produces harmful emissions and by-products no matter what type of stove is used.

“Ventilation is really where the discussion should be, rather than banning a particular type of technology,” said Jill Notini, vice president of the Washington-based trade group. “Banning one type of cooking appliance will not address general indoor air quality concerns. We may need some behavioral changes, we may need [people] Turn on the hood when cooking.”

Natural gas distributors, whose business is threatened by the growing push to electrify homes, argue that a ban on natural gas stoves will increase costs for utilities. homeowners and restaurants without benefiting the environment. The American Gas Association, which represents utility companies such as Dominion Energy Inc. and DTE Energy Co., said in a statement that regulatory and advisory bodies responsible for protecting the health and safety of residential consumers did not present any documented risks. from the gas stove.

“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the EPA do not present gases as a significant cause of adverse air quality or health hazards in the United States,” said Karen Harbert, chair of the group. documents, instructions or requests for their public or technical information”. “The most practical and practical way to achieve a sustainable future where energy is clean, as well as safe, reliable and affordable, is to ensure it includes natural gas and infrastructure. the floor that transports it.”

Trumka, who prior to joining the committee worked for the House committee in a role that included research into toxic heavy metals in baby food and the health hazards of e-cigarettes, said the committee could make a proposal as soon as this year, although he conceded. that would be “on the fast side.”

“There is a misconception that if you want to cook fine dining, it has to be done with gas,” says Trumka. “It’s a manicured legend.”

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