There's much discussion about banning gas stove tops because they emit nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Claims are also casually made about these burners with little scientific support about the harmful effects of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and propane/natural gas emissions. Here are some obvious falsehoods and hidden biases in gas stove−childhood asthma research.
On January 11, the CPSC issued a statement of concern about emissions from gas stoves while stating that it had no plans to ban them. Here are the comments I have submitted to the Commission during its public comment period. It’s time for the larger issue of indoor air pollution to get its due.
Roughly 2.4 billion people use “polluting fuels … to meet their daily cooking needs.” That includes 83% of the population living in sub-Saharan Africa. A study in Nature Sustainability suggests that for these low-income populations cooking with gas is a big step forward. Is this the invisible hand of Big Gas, some form of economic imperialism, or the best fit for the circumstances?
The traditional view of air pollution is that of bad stuff in the air produced by someone else, the ubiquitous “them.” Recent concerns about indoor air quality may have broadened that view to realize that some “others” may be us. A recent article in the journal Nature proclaimed, “Local and national governments must ensure that good indoor air quality is delivered….” posing the question, delivered by whom? Amazon pristine?
Coming on the heels of a study of the detrimental effects of gas stoves on indoor air quality and health is a pilot study of how those harmful effects are mitigated by replacing gas with induction stoves. Let’s see what they found.
Now that the political drama around gas stoves has waned, it's time to discuss the science. Here's what all the talking heads got wrong. Does secondhand weed smoke cause asthma? Maybe, though the most recent study cited as evidence isn't all that rigorous.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recently concluded that gas stoves have polluted our indoor spaces. So polluted that “more than 12% of current childhood asthma cases in the US can be attributed to gas stove use.” Could that be true? Only if you believe in Mathmagic.