Do Gas Stoves Pose A Threat? What Science Has Taught Us

Gas Stoves Pose A Threat: The issue of gas stoves is popular. One in eight incidents of childhood asthma was related to them in recent research, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission stated it would investigate outlawing them, and Republicans reacted angrily to the idea. At the same time, federal and state programmes attempt to strengthen the major rivals of gas stoves, conventional electric stoves and the much-heralded induction burner.

Are Gas Stoves An Indoor Air Pollution Source?

Yes, without a doubt. Gas stove pollution comes in two forms. When they are in use are the first and most visible. The heat produced by gas burning allows nitrogen and oxygen to combine in the flames. Nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, collectively referred to as NOx, are produced when they combine and can irritate the lungs. But there are more compounds to be concerned about. Carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and even formaldehyde can all be released during gas-powered cooking.

All of those can have negative effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems and have numerous harmful health effects. Most likely, your stove is emitting a more pernicious type of pollutants. Gas stoves leak harmful substances even when they are not in use, according to a growing body of studies. The most concerning is the carcinogen benzene. According to a PSE Health Energy research, benzene was present in 99% of the samples it examined from Californian residences.

Xylene, toluene, and ethylbenzene were among the other compounds found; they may all harm the respiratory system and have cancer-causing potential. According to Talor Gruenwald, a researcher at Rewiring America and the study’s principal author, the result “demonstrates that this is a significant public health concern that we have to address.”

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How Much Pollution Are We Actually Talking About?

A lot. According to the PSE Health Energy research, gas stoves are comparable to secondhand smoke since they can produce as much benzene as a cigarette. Seth Shonkoff, executive director of PSE Energy Health and associate researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, stated that having an off stove in your home might result in the same amount of benzene exposure as having a house with a smoker inside. Of course, it only applies while the burner is off.

NOx emissions from stoves can quickly surpass government safety guidelines for outdoor air quality, according to research from last year. Shonkoff described stoves as “stationary air pollution machines inside people’s residences” because of this, despite the fact that they are exempt from the regulations that apply to outside air pollution.

The stove, if you don’t live in a home with a smoker, is going to be the biggest source of pollution, according to Gruenwald, who also likened having a smoker around. Additionally harmful to the environment, gas stoves. In the US, the annual methane emissions from gas stoves are the same as adding 500,000 automobiles to the road.

Can You Do A Home Test For Gas Stove Pollution?

Actually, no. Although there are several indoor air quality sensors available for measuring things like carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and particle matter, there aren’t any affordable home versions available to test for NOx, benzene, and other household contaminants.

There are some reasonably priced tools for finding gas leaks, but according to Shonkoff, those are designed more for serious leaks than regular gas stove emissions. (And if you ever smell gas, immediately contact your utility or the emergency services.) The technologies employed by academics, he said, cost between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Can You Do A Home Test For Gas Stove Pollution?
Can You Do A Home Test For Gas Stove Pollution?

Does It Matter If I Use A Hood Or Vent?

In a word, yeah. It’s crucial to open the vent when you’re cooking in order to push air pollution outdoors. Since this only converts interior air pollution to outdoor air pollution, it is clear that this is not the best option. However, it’s preferable than having it in high doses at home, where it might worsen lung damage.

Shonkoff said that simply opening the windows is an excellent method to clean the air for people like myself who don’t have a hood over their stove. To assist push the inside air outside, it would be even better to instal a fan in the window. The greatest strategy to reduce gas stove pollution is, of course, to avoid using a gas stove in the first place.

What Are Some Alternatives To Gas Stoves?

There are two primary types of electric stoves: conventional and induction. Standard electric stoves produce thermal heat by passing electricity through a wire. Induction stoves are becoming more and more popular. Induction stoves produce heat electromagnetically rather than thermally. When an induction stove is turned on, electricity passes through a coil, producing a magnetic field. I won’t delve into the specifics of how this warms your pots and pans, but it does (additional information is available here if you’re interested).

What you need to understand is that, unlike conventional stoves, which transmit heat, the magnetic field warms pots and pans and their contents directly. The stove doesn’t heat up by itself. In fact, you could put your hand on an induction burner while it is lit. (Just remember to avoid doing it after a hot pot has been on the surface.)

What Are Some Alternatives To Gas Stoves?
What Are Some Alternatives To Gas Stoves?

Induction stoves also heat very quickly, unlike conventional electric stoves. They are thus more comparable to gas stoves. However, they are more effective than gas ranges. According to tests, they can boil a pot of water in half the time it takes on a gas stove.

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How Much More Expensive Is An Induction Stove Than A Gas One?

It might be expensive to switch from gas to induction. A quick peek at the big-box store Lowe’s reveals that, at the time of publishing, the cheapest gas stove costs $529 while the lowest induction stove costs $1,199. Additionally, switching from gas to induction has additional expenditures.

Since induction stoves cannot be plugged into regular wall outlets, your kitchen will probably need to be rewired by an electrician. Additionally, only particular pots and pans are compatible with induction burners. You will probably need to buy new pots and pans if you currently have a set of copper or aluminium cookware.

How Much More Expensive Is An Induction Stove Than A Gas One?
How Much More Expensive Is An Induction Stove Than A Gas One?

Are There Any Strategies To Reduce The Costs?

Fortunately, the response is “yes.” There are several single-burner induction cooktops available to get you started if you’re inquisitive about induction and want to dip your toe in. The top selection from Wirecutter costs $117, giving it a fair beginning point, while its budget pick is even more affordable. It is possible to get four of these, mount them on your gas range, and instantly have an induction range for less than $500. But this is undoubtedly a cumbersome answer.

The Inflation Reduction Act in the US offers reimbursements of up to $840 to customers who purchase an electric or induction cooktop. You are eligible for the entire refund if your income is less than 80% of the median household income in your region. You may be eligible for reimbursement for up to half the cost of the new stove if your income is between 80% and 150% of the median family income.

There is an extra $500 to cover installation charges for customers moving from gas to electric. Rewiring America has a calculator to reveal what tax credits and rebates for stoves and other electrification benefits you qualify for under the Inflation Reduction Act. Don’t forget to share this news with your loved ones, and check out Talkxbox.

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