Studies have shown for years that cooking indoors with gas stoves is potentially harmful to our health, especially for children with asthma.
Now a US security agency has considered the potential dangers and warned that they may move to regulate its use. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death, has announced that they are turning up the heat on gas stoves.
“This is a hidden danger,” said Richard Trumka Jr., an agency commissioner Bloomberg. “Every option is on the table. Products that cannot be made safe can be banned.”
Related: Electric stoves are much better for the environment than gas stoves. This is why.
About 38% of American households use gas stoves, but that number rises to about 70% in states like California and New Jersey.
For this reason, many cities and counties across the country have begun adopting policies to require or encourage consumers to switch from fossil fuels to all-electric homes and buildings.
In New York City, for example, the building code requires all-electric for new low-rise buildings by 2024 and taller buildings by 2027. Los Angeles passed legislation to ban most natural gas-powered appliances in newly constructed residential and commercial buildings starting this month.
The Inflation Reduction Act also offers tax credits for those going electric. Middle-income households are now eligible for more than half a dozen tax credits for electric heaters, cars and solar panels.
Proponents of gas push back
Not everyone is in favor of banning the blue flame.
The American Gas Association says bans on gas stoves are unwarranted.
“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and EPA do not present gas ranges in their technical or public information literature, guidelines or requirements as a significant contributor to adverse air quality or health hazards,” said Karen Harbert, president of AGA. “The most practical, realistic way to create a sustainable future where energy is clean as well as safe, reliable and affordable is to ensure that natural gas and the infrastructure that transports it is included.”
Others argue that the problem is in the ventilation, not the gas itself.
“Ventilation is really where this discussion should be, rather than banning a certain type of technology,” said Jill Notini, vice president of The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Bloomberg. “Banning one type of cooking appliance is not going to allay concerns about overall indoor air quality.”
But Trumka disagrees, saying the Consumer Safety Commission will come up with a proposal and possible ban in the coming months.
“There is a misconception that if you want to cook well, you have to cook on gas,” he said. “It’s a carefully manicured myth.”
After we reported on this story, Richard Trumka Jr. back to his comment about banning gas stoves. The story caused an uproar among some consumers and politicians, including Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
This is a recipe for disaster. Telling American families how to cook their dinner is of no use to the federal government. I can tell you the last thing that would ever leave my house is the gas stove we cook on. https://t.co/8IEFM44UvE
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) January 10, 2023
Trumka clarified his statement by saying:
“We’re not going to go into someone’s house and take away items that are already there. We’re not going to do that,” Trumka told CNN. “If and when we get regulation on the subject, it’s always forward-looking. You know, it applies to new products. Consumers always have a choice of what they want in their home and we want to make sure they do it with full information . .”