Are gas stoves really dangerous? What we know about science Air pollution

Gas stoves are a hot topic. A new study linked them One in eight cases of childhood asthmaThe US Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it is considering banning them Republicans expressed outrage Just a suggestion.

At the same time, central and state policies aim to give a boost to the main competition of gas stoves – conventional electric stoves and polyhood induction stoves.

What does all this mean to you? Let’s break it down in this tutorial.

Are gas stoves a source of indoor air pollution?

Undoubtedly, yes. There are two ways gas stoves can pollute your home. The first is the most obvious: when they are in use. Burning gas creates heat, which binds nitrogen and oxygen between the flames. They combine to form nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, collectively known as NOx, which can irritate the lungs. But that’s not the only ingredient to worry about. Cooking with gas can release carbon monoxide, particulates and formaldehyde. All of them have various harmful health implications and can affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

An even more insidious contaminant may be emanating from your oven. A growing body of research suggests that gas stoves emit toxic compounds even when not in use. Of particular concern is benzene, a carcinogen. A study BSE Health Energy found benzene in 99% of samples taken from homes in California. Other chemicals found include xylene, toluene, and ethylbenzene, which can also cause respiratory problems and cause cancer.

“This demonstrates that this is a real public health challenge that we need to address,” said Talor Gruenwald, lead author of the new asthma study and a researcher at Rewiring America.

How much pollution are we talking about here?

A lot. A BSE Health Energy study found that gas stoves emit about as much benzene as a cigarette.

“You can reach the same level of benzene by turning off a stove in your house,” said Seth Schoenkoff, managing director of PSE Energy Health and Associates, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

And that, of course, is when the oven is on Off. Research It was published last year that NOx emissions can exceed federal safety standards for outdoor air quality within minutes while the stove is in use. For that reason, Schoenkoff referred to stoves as “stationary air polluting machines inside people’s homes,” even though they are not subject to outdoor air pollution standards.

Grunewald compares stoves to smokers: “If you don’t live with smokers, the stove is obviously a major source of pollution.”

Gas stoves are also terrible for climate. Methane emissions from gas stoves in the U.S. are equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off the road each year.

Can you test for gas stove contamination at home?

Not really. While there are a variety of indoor air quality sensors for carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter, there are no inexpensive home versions for testing for NOx, benzene, and other household pollutants. There are relatively affordable tools to detect gas leaks, but they tend to target more significant leaks than everyday gas stove emissions, Schankoff said. (And if you ever smell gas, call your utility or emergency services immediately.)

The tools used by educators range in price from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.

Does using a hood/vent make a difference?

Absolutely right. Turning on that vent while cooking is essential for outdoor air pollution. This is not an ideal solution as it converts indoor air pollution into outdoor air pollution. But it’s better than keeping it in high concentrations in your home, where it can cause more damage to your lungs.

What else can be done to reduce indoor air pollution from gas stoves?

For those who don’t have a hood over the stove (like me), even opening the windows is a good trick to clear the air, said Schankoff. Even better is to put a fan in the window to suck the indoor air.

Of course, the best way to reduce gas stove pollution is to not have a gas stove in the first place.

What are some gas stove alternatives?

Electric stoves come in two main flavors: standard and induction. Static electric stoves run electricity through a wire to generate heat.

Induction stoves are increasingly in vogue. Instead of generating thermal heat, induction stoves generate heat electromagnetically. When you turn on an induction stove, electricity flows through a coil that creates a magnetic field. I won’t go into exactly how it heats your pots and pans (more info Here If you’re curious), but it does.

You should know that the magnetic field directly heats pots and pans – and their contents – instead of transferring heat like traditional stoves. The stove does not heat itself. In fact, you can turn on an induction burner and put your hand on it. (Don’t do it after the hot pot is on the surface.) Unlike traditional electric stoves, induction stoves don’t take time to heat up. It is very similar to gas stoves. But they are more efficient than gas stoves. Experiments show that they can boil a pot of water half time A gas stove.

How much does an induction stove cost compared to a gas stove?

Switching from gas to induction can be expensive. An overview from big-box retailer Lowe’s revealed that the cheapest gas stove at launch was $529 and the cheapest induction stove was $1,199.

Switching from gas to induction comes with other costs. Induction stoves don’t plug into standard wall outlets, so an electrician may need to retrofit your kitchen. And induction stoves only work with certain types of pots and pans. If you have a copper or aluminum cookware, you may need to invest in some new pots and pans.

Are there ways to cut costs?

You’re in luck, because the answer is yes. If you’re an induction enthusiast and want to dip your toe in, there are plenty of single burner induction cooktops to get you started. The best choice of wire cutters At $117 the watch is available, making it a reasonable entry point, while its budget pick is still less expensive. You can conceivably buy four and put them on your gas stove and voilĂ , you have an induction range for less than $500. Admittedly, this is a confusing solution.

In the US, the Inflation Reduction Act includes a rebate of up to $840 for those buying an induction or electric stove. If you earn less than 80% of the median household income in your area, you qualify for the full exemption. Those earning between 80% and 150% of the median household income can qualify for a discount of up to half the cost of a new stove.

For those switching from gas to electric, there is an additional $500 to cover installation costs. There is Rewiring America Calculator To reveal what tax credits and rebates for stove and other electrification benefits you qualify for under the Inflationary Reduction Act.

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