According to a report that was initially published by Bloomberg, a federal regulator is mulling over whether or not to prohibit the use of gas stoves amid rising worries about the link between indoor pollution and pediatric asthma. A commissioner for the United States Consumer Product Safety told Bloomberg that using a gas stove poses a “hidden hazard.”
“We are considering all of our options. “Products that cannot be made safe might potentially be banned,” the agency commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said in an interview with Bloomberg. According to the report, the agency intends “to take action” to combat the indoor pollution that is created by stoves. CNN has contacted the CPSC to request a response on the matter.
Since the beginning of the year, the CPSC has been debating whether or not to take action about gas stoves. In October, Trumka suggested the CPSC that the agency solicit public feedback regarding the dangers associated with gas stoves. It has been established that the pollutants are responsible for asthma and the exacerbation of respiratory disorders.
According to the findings of a study that was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in December 2022, the use of gas stoves within the home is related to an increased risk of children developing asthma at the present day. According to the findings of the study, the use of gas stoves is responsible for roughly one-fifth of the current cases of childhood asthma in the United States.
According to Trumka’s comments to Bloomberg, the government intends to expose the topic of gas stove dangers to public opinion. “Setting standards on emissions from the appliances” is one alternative to outright prohibiting their use. In the United States, the usage of gas stoves is prevalent in 35 percent of homes, with that percentage reaching as high as 70 percent in certain states, such as California and New Jersey.
According to the findings of other research, these stoves generate considerable levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter, all of which, in the absence of adequate ventilation, can raise the levels of indoor concentration levels to levels that the EPA considers to be dangerous.
In a letter addressed to the chair of the committee, a group of legislators wrote that “short-term exposure to NO2 is linked to worsening asthma in children, and long-term exposure has been determined to likely cause the development of asthma.” They also mentioned that it can make cardiovascular illnesses worse.
The letter, which was signed by Senators Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren, argued that Black and Latino households, as well as low-income households, are more likely to be affected by these adverse reactions. This is because Black and Latino households are either more likely to live near a waste incinerator or coal ash site, or that low-income households have poor ventilation in their homes.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sent the following comment to CNN: “At this time, the agency has not proposed any regulatory action on gas stoves; any regulatory action would involve a lengthy process.”
According to a statement released by the commission, “Agency staff aims to start gathering data and viewpoints from the public later this year on potential hazards related with gas stoves, and proposed remedies to those concerns.” The staff of the Commission is also continuing their collaboration with voluntary standards organizations to investigate gas stove emissions and handle any potential dangers.
To cut greenhouse gas emissions, the city of Berkeley in California banned the installation of natural gas hookups in all new buildings in 2019. San Francisco followed suit in 2020, and New York City followed suit in 2021. But as of February of this year, the legislatures of twenty states controlled by the Republican Party have passed so-called “preemption laws” that make it illegal for towns to restrict natural gas.
According to Sarah Fox, an associate law professor at the Northern Illinois University School of Law, who gave an interview with CNN in the previous year, “To me that’s what’s interesting about this new trend, it seems like states are trying to eliminate the possibility before cities try to catch onto this.” “Those in the natural gas sector have been working very hard to ensure that this bill is approved.”
An enhancement in ventilation, as stated by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers in a statement that was sent to CNN Business, is the solution to the problem of preventing the contamination of the interior air when cooking.
“A ban on gas cooking appliances would remove an affordable and preferred technology used in more than 40% of homes across the country,” Jill Notini, a spokesman for the industry, said in a statement. “A ban on gas cooking appliances would remove an affordable and chosen technology.”
Because all methods of cooking, regardless of the source of heat, produce air pollutants, particularly when done at high temperatures, a restriction on the use of gas in the kitchen would be ineffective in addressing the larger problem of poor indoor air quality caused by cooking.
In a blog post published in December, the American Gas Association voiced its opposition to a ban on the use of natural gas, arguing that the prohibition drives up the cost of housing since “electric dwellings require expensive retrofits.”
However, the ground-breaking Inflation Reduction Act that was sponsored by Biden includes a rebate of up to $840 for the purchase of an electric stove or other electric equipment, as well as a reimbursement of up to $500 to assist in covering the costs of switching from gas to electric power.
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