Know the facts: Gas stoves and indoor air quality talking points
Misleading stories about gas stoves and indoor air quality have dominated the news cycle lately. Here are a few points to consider when answering questions about the matter:
- There are competing studies about the adverse impact to indoor air quality that various types of stoves produce.
- The Stanford study’s findings are based on an extremely small sample size and unrealistic cooking conditions and don’t provide a clear picture of NOx emissions and particulate matter generated from electric cooking.
- The Lancet Respiratory Medicine abstract states: “…we detected no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”
Ultimately, further review is needed.
- The act of cooking itself reduces indoor air quality, regardless of the energy that powers the stove.
- Proper ventilation using a hood and even opening a window is the best solution to maintaining indoor air quality.
- Engaging a qualified technician to install and perform regular service of the stove is essential to ensuring safe operation of the appliance.
- Heating cooking oil at the appropriate temperature also aids in maintaining air quality.
- The safety of appliances is measured in ways other than their impact on indoor air quality. For instance, a 2020 study by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that electric ranges cause household fires at a rate 2.6 times greater than gas ranges; civilian injuries at a rate 4.8 times higher; and civilian deaths at a rate 3.4 times higher.
There are inherent risks to operating any appliance in the home whether powered by electricity, natural gas or propane. Following common sense safety measures will ensure their safe use for all.