Evidence Is Mounting that Gas Stoves Are Hazardous to One’s Health

A study published last week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found at least 12 hazardous air pollutants, including benzene, a carcinogenic, are being emitted by virtually all gas ranges.  The study, limited to California, included 159 stoves in 16 counties. It found benzene emitted from 99% of the sampled stoves. Here’s a link for that study.

Although the study did not include other gas appliances such as forced air furnaces and water heaters, it makes sense that the same pollutants are being emitted from those and other gas appliances, too.

Gas appliances are also a source of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, and carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, which is also unhealthy in high concentrations.

This report adds another reason why homeowners should consider abandoning natural gas (or propane) and moving toward having all-electric homes, especially now that there are widely available and efficient heat pump HVAC systems, heat pump water heaters, and induction cooktops. Rita and I have used all three of these appliances plus an electric grill, which we love.

You Might Want to Reconsider Gas Cooking  

Upgraded kitchens are among every buyer’s top selling points, and a great gas range such as a Viking or Wolf can draw raves and offers.

A February 2022 article in Smithsonian Magazine carries the revealing title, “Gas Stoves Are Worse for Climate and Health Than Previously Thought.”

The article states that 40 million American homes have a gas range or cooktop. These appliances can emit formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitric oxides, and they could be leaking even when turned off.

Rita and I had a gas cooktop in our Golden home (now sold), and we were advised to always turn on the exhaust fan above the stove (vented to the outside, not recirculating like some fans) whenever we cooked, not just when your cooking is creating smoke.

We’ve all heard that methane is a greenhouse gas, 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. You may not know that natural gas is really methane under a nicer sounding name. The methane emitted by cooking with gas has health implications that are a more immediate and personal cause for concern.

The smart alternative to cooking with gas is cooking on induction electric surfaces. I purchased a single countertop induction unit for about $50 and was impressed by its performance — and by its low 110V electric usage. I found that an equivalent amount of water took less than half as long to reach a boil on the induction cooktop as it did on the biggest burner of our gas cooktop. I suggest you familiarize yourself with induction cooking using one of those $50 units before making the switch to a full-size induction cooktop.