By Brittany Bernstein. Media: National Review.
A federal agency may look to ban gas stoves over concern about the release of pollutants that can cause health and respiratory problems, according to a new report.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is set to open public comment on the dangers of gas stoves sometime this winter. The commission could set standards on emissions from the gas stoves, or even look to ban the manufacture or import of the appliances, commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg News.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka told the outlet. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
The stoves, which are used in about 40 percent of homes in the U.S., emit pollutants including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter at levels deemed unsafe by the EPA and World Health Organization. The emissions have been linked to illness, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and other health conditions. More than 12 percent of current childhood asthma cases are linked to gas stove use, according to peer-reviewed research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health last month.
Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Representative Don Beyer (D., Va.) wrote a letter to the agency last month urging the commission to address the issue and calling the harmful emissions a “cumulative burden” on black, Latino and low-income households.
However, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers argues that cooking produces harmful emissions regardless of the kind of stove used.
“Ventilation is really where this discussion should be, rather than banning one particular type of technology,” Jill Notini, a vice president at the association, told Bloomberg. “Banning one type of a cooking appliance is not going to address the concerns about overall indoor air quality. We may need some behavior change, we may need [people] to turn on their hoods when cooking.”
The American Gas Association similarly argued against a ban.
“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and EPA do not present gas ranges as a significant contributor to adverse air quality or health hazard in their technical or public information literature, guidance, or requirements,” Karen Harbert, the group’s president, told the outlet. “The most practical, realistic 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 the infrastructure that transports it.”