Cooking with gas may soon sound as unimaginable as painting with lead or building with asbestos.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering a ban on natural gas stoves, which, though used in ~40% of US kitchens, emit a cocktail of air pollutants, per Bloomberg.
Studies illustrating the hazards of gas stoves…
… have proliferated for 50 years. Based on EPA and World Health Organization standards, gas stoves produce unsafe levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide that can lead to:
- Respiratory illness
- Cardiovascular disease
One of the biggest concerns is asthma. A study released last month in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health revealed that gas stoves contribute to 12%+ of US childhood asthma cases.
But many types of indoor cooking can emit dangerous particles. A rep for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers told Bloomberg that the country should focus on ventilation.
And don’t expect the gas industry to be silent
According to Mother Jones, Big Flame has tried to convince Americans of the superiority of gas stoves for decades and has turned up the heat in recent years.
- Industry-sponsored Instagram influencers have shared posts of themselves cooking on gas stoves with extremely unsubtle captions like, “Did you know natural gas provides better cooking results? Pretty nifty, huh?!”
- One pro-gas group spent $300k on a millennial-geared campaign in 2020.
In fact, the reason why you’ve ever heard someone say “cooking with gas” is likely because of the industry’s lobbying. Gas executives pushed the phrase into Daffy Duck cartoons and into Bob Hope’s comedy act as far back as the 1930s to combat the rise of electric stoves.
Paying for the switch: Thanks to last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, Americans can get rebates of up to $840 to replace their gas stove with an electric one.
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