We need to talk about your gas stove, your health and climate change
The Salt Lake Tribune recently published an important article about the consequences of natural gas stoves. The most important points addressed by the piece were:
1. The stoves leaked methane (a potent greenhouse gas) even when they were completely off.
2. Gas stoves are an important source of indoor pollution, especially nitrogen oxides.
3. Indoor pollution from gas stoves can reach levels that would be illegal outdoors.
4. There are well-documented risks to respiratory health from gas stove pollution.
5. Ventilation is critical to at least “safer” use of a gas stove.
The American Gas Association, or course, wrote a rebuttal filled with distortions and falsehoods.
Two things left out of both articles was the research (multiple studies, controlling for other variables) that shows children that grow up with natural gas appliances in the home were found to have lower IQs when they became school age. The articles also left out research that shows nitrogen oxide exposure increases the risk of dying from COVID. These findings are consistent with all the other research on the health effects of nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, three of the most hazardous indoor pollutants from natural gas. Unfortunately, indoor air purifiers that capture particulate pollution do not capture gasses.
If you can afford to replace your natural gas stoves with electric, you should. Use crock pots whenever possible. If you use your natural gas stove you should always have a ventilation system, especially if you live in a small apartment. Regardless of all that, the methane leaks make natural gas stoves really bad for the climate, and of course, the entire process of drilling for natural gas routinely involves fracking, which is a climate and environmental disaster.