The Biden administration is considering banning gas stoves over concerns that they release toxic pollutants harmful to people’s health.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will open public comment this winter on the health risks of gas stoves as the agency looks to better regulate the kitchen appliance, commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg News.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka said. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
The Biden administration has made “clean energy” initiatives and eliminating the use of natural gas a key priority. Last month, Biden’s Energy Department boasted that its plan to phase out federal buildings’ use of natural gas would save taxpayers millions, but a Washington Free Beacon analysis found the opposite to be true.
Gas stoves often emit carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, which some scientists have linked to respiratory illnesses and other health concerns, but many researchers believe improved kitchen ventilation is a simpler solution than an outright ban.
“A gas burner almost always produces significant quantities of nitrogen dioxide, which is a respiratory irritant,” explained Dr. Brett Singer, leading scientist of the Indoor Environment Group at Berkeley National Laboratory. “However, these pollutants can be easily addressed with good kitchen ventilation, which is especially important if you live in a small home.”
A well-ventilated kitchen equipped with a stovetop fan “greatly reduces exposure to pollutants during cooking,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers balked at the Safety Commission’s review of gas stoves.
“Banning one type of a cooking appliance is not going to address the concerns about overall indoor air quality,” Jill Notini, vice president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, told Bloomberg. “We may need some behavior change, we may need [people] to turn on their hoods when cooking.”
Trumka, in December, said a complete ban on new gas stoves was “a real possibility.”
The American Gas Association argued against a ban.
“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.” Karen Harbert, president of the American Gas Association, said.