Study: Gas Stoves Responsible for 12 Percent Childhood Asthma

January 4, 2023

But sure, tell me about the “risks” of solar panels.

Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health:

“We found that 12.7% (95% CI = 6.3–19.3%) of current childhood asthma in the US is attributable to gas stove use.”

Harvard University:

Children living in households that use gas stoves for cooking are 42% more likely to have asthma, according to an analysis of observational research. While observational studies can’t prove that cooking with gas is the direct cause of asthma, data also show that the higher the nitrogen dioxide level, the more severe the asthma symptoms in children and adults.

Cooking and baking done with gas appliances can give off high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide. A recent study published by researchers at Stanford calculated that emission of nitrogen dioxide from certain gas burners or ovens rose above the standard set for outdoors by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within a few minutes. Currently, the EPA has set no standard for safe levels indoors.

Organizations like the Massachusetts Medical Society and the American Medical Association are trying to raise clinician and public awareness about these risks. Yet much of this information still comes as a surprise to many.

Gas stoves leak even when they are off

The Stanford study tested gas stoves in 53 homes. All of the stoves leaked methane gas, even when turned off. These leaks equaled 76% of their total methane gas emissions. Both methane and nitrogen dioxide contribute to air pollution by forming ground-level ozone and smog. Methane is also a major greenhouse gasand worsens climate change. Notably, in this study, emissions of neither methane nor nitrogen dioxide were related to the age or the price of the gas stove.

Toxic chemicals in gas stoves and pipelines

What’s more, a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and PSE Healthy Energy showed that gas appliances also introduce other toxic chemicals into homes. The researchers collected unburned gas from stoves and building pipelines in the greater Boston area. In their analysis, they identified 21 different hazardous air pollutants known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). For example, benzene, hexane, and toluene were present in almost all of the gas samples tested. Exposure to some VOCs raises risks for asthma, cancer, and other illnesses.

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