A federal agency is considering banning gas stoves, a source of indoor pollution linked to childhood asthma.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner said in an interview with Bloomberg that the use of gas stoves is a “hazard.”
“Any option is on the table. Products that cannot be ensured to be safe may be banned,” agency commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg. The agency plans to “take action” to address indoor pollution from stoves, the report said.
The CPSC has been considering action against gas stoves for months. Trumka recommended in October that the CPSC seek public comment on hazards associated with gas stoves. These pollutants have been linked to exacerbation of asthma and respiratory disease.
A study published in December 2022 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that indoor gas stove use was associated with an increased risk of current asthma among children. Nearly 13 percent of childhood asthma in the U.S. is currently caused by the use of gas stoves, the study found.
Trumka told Bloomberg that the agency plans to comment publicly on the hazards of gas stoves. Options other than a ban include “establishing emission standards for electrical appliances”.
Gas stoves are used in 35 percent of U.S. households, and in some states, such as California and New Jersey, the figure is closer to 70 percent. Other studies have found that these stoves emit large amounts of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter — substances that, if not properly ventilated, can raise indoor levels to levels the EPA considers unsafe.
“Short-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide has been linked to exacerbation of asthma in children, and long-term exposure has been identified as likely to contribute to the development of asthma,” a group of lawmakers said in a letter to Chairman Alexander Hornsalich, adding that it could also will aggravate cardiovascular disease.
This letter – Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of the signatories, argued that black, Latino and low-income households are more likely to be affected by these adverse effects because they are more likely to live near waste incinerators or coal ash yards, or live in Ventilation in poor households.
In a statement to CNN, the CPSC said the agency has not yet proposed any regulatory action on gas stoves and that any regulatory action would “involve a lengthy process.”
“The agency’s staff plans to begin collecting public data and perspectives on potential hazards associated with gas stoves and to propose solutions to those hazards later this year,” the commission said in a statement. Crews also continue to work with voluntary standards organizations to examine gas stove emissions and address potential hazards.”
Some U.S. cities ban natural gas hookups in all new construction to cut greenhouse gas emissions – Berkeley 2019, San Francisco 2020, New York City 2021. But as of last February, 20 states with Republican-controlled legislatures had passed so-called “preemption laws” that bar cities from banning gas.
“To me, that’s what’s interesting about this new trend, it seems like the states are trying to eliminate the possibility before the cities try to grab this,” Sarah Fox, an associate professor at Northern Illinois University School of Law, told CNN last year. news site. “The natural gas industry… Has been very positive in getting through. ”
In a statement to CNN Business, the Home Appliance Manufacturers Association said improved ventilation is the solution to preventing indoor air pollution while cooking.
“A ban on gas cooktops would remove an affordable and preferred technology used in more than 40 percent of homes nationwide,” industry spokeswoman Jill Notini said in a statement. “Banning gas cooking would not Addressing the general issue of indoor air quality while cooking, as all forms of cooking, regardless of heat source, generate air pollutants, especially at high temperatures.”
The American Gas Association opposed the gas ban in a blog post in December, saying it would make housing more expensive because “electric homes would require costly retrofits.”
However, Biden’s landmark Lower Inflation Act includes rebates of up to $840 for electric stoves or other appliances, and subsidies of up to $500 to help cover the cost of switching from natural gas to electricity.
– CNN’s Ella Nilsen contributed to this report.