Gas Stoves Are Creating Unsafe Levels of Indoor Air Pollution
According to a growing body of research, tens of millions of Americans are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution in their homes. The culprit? Your gas stove. A study released by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) last month concluded that carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emissions from gas cooking can exceed the national levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and can seriously pollute your indoor air.
Gas stoves emit a number of pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (HCHO), and particulate pollution, each of which can exacerbate various respiratory illnesses– such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or chronic bronchitis. In some bad cases, such as a gas leak, it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which can cause headaches, nausea, cardiac arrest, or death. These emissions are also direct contributors to climate change.
Approximately one third of American households still cook with gas stoves. Even during “normal” times this can be a problem, but with people spending more time at home cooking due to the state quarantine, this can have a significant impact on your health, air quality, and climate. In fact, the UCLA study concluded that if all residential gas stoves in California were transitioned to clean energy electric appliances, there would be 354 fewer deaths, 596 less cases of acute bronchitis, and 304 less cases of chronic bronchitis.
What can I do to save my indoor air quality?
Science tells us that the best way to minimize indoor air pollution from gas is to change out to an electric stove, and that the best way to reduce a home’s greenhouse gas footprint is to electrify. However, if electrification is not possible in the immediate, other ways to help save your indoor air quality include opening a window, using the stove’s exhaust hood, and running an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
How eco-healthy is your home? Find out more ways to preserve your indoor environmental quality here– https://oeconline.org/our-work/toxic-free-environments/healthquiz/