The Biden administration is exploring the possibility of a nationwide ban on gas stoves because some studies say that emissions from these appliances are toxic, according to a new report.
About 40% of American households use gas stoves, despite the fact that the EPA and WHO say they emit dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter. These emissions are reportedly associated with a variety of adverse health outcomes, including sickness, cardiovascular issues, cancer, childhood asthma, and others.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Richard Trumka Jr., the commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, told Bloomberg News. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
Apparently, the problem is not just that the emissions from gas stoves are allegedly toxic. According to some Democrats, gas stoves are also racist.
Last month, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) wrote a letter to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, claiming that gas stove emissions are a “cumulative burden” on black, Latino, and low-income households, which, they claim, disproportionately experience air pollution.
“These emissions can create a cumulative burden to households that are already more likely to face higher exposure to both indoor and outdoor air pollution,” the letter reads. “Statistics show that Black, Latino, and low-income households are more likely to experience disproportionate air pollution, either from being more likely to be located near a waste incinerator or coal ash site, or living in smaller homes with poor ventilation, malfunctioning appliances, mold, dust mites, secondhand smoke, lead dust, pests, and other maintenance deficiencies.”
In the past, natural gas has been promoted as a cleaner energy source than alternative fuel sources. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas “has many qualities that make it an efficient, relatively clean burning, and economical energy source.” So, is this really about gas stoves being harmful, or is this just another scam to push electric, which is widely misconstrued to be environmentally friendly?
This winter, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will solicit public input on the dangers of gas stoves. The commission could potentially establish pollution guidelines for the stoves or even ban them from being imported and manufactured.
Others say the problem is not gas stoves.
“Ventilation is really where this discussion should be, rather than banning one particular type of technology,” says Jill Notini, a vice president with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. “Banning one type of a cooking appliance is not going to address the concerns about overall indoor air quality… We may need some behavior change, we may need [people] to turn on their hoods when cooking.”