Gas stoves are common in almost every household but what most people don’t know is that they are up to five times dirtier than the outdoors’s polluted air. For this reason, it is adding risk to the health of everyone in the household that uses a gas stove by subjecting them to thousands of microbes most of which are hazardous for health.
It is hard to believe that an ordinary-looking gas stove is making you sick. But the new report confirms that it increases the air pollution inside the house and it could be anything between two to five times more than the actually polluted air that you find outside.
Although it is a huge risk factor for health the health regulators are unable to find and establish a standard air quality for indoors. This problem, though largely ignored is much more likely to show up considering everyone is spending time indoors during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Gas stoves work with fossil fuel burning and are a bigger threat to millions of US citizens. It exposed them to undesirable and dangerous health problems including breathing issues, allergies, autoimmune diseases, etc.
Health experts are now convinced that these gas burners would add up to the risk of disease in addition to the already prevailing coronavirus.
The Rocky Mountain Institute and other environmental advocacy groups review this phenomenon and conclude that gas stoves are so harmful that they could be declared illegal someday.
The first author of this study, Brady Seals says that this common household equipment is often ignored when we talk about the ideal health standards. And having little information on it causes a huge problem as the majority of people don’t even know about what are they dealing with. Almost everyone is now accustomed to this fossil fuel burning unit which is unvented while being inside the house. It is hard to imagine the health risks that it is openly inviting for every house member.
Nearly 1/3rd US population uses gas stoves for everyday cooking. These stoves release nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide two biggest pollutants, responsible for damaging the air quality. Not to forget, these two are also the most hazardous gases for human health. And this risk is higher for older people or people with underlying health conditions. in addition to this, if the gas stove is poorly maintained, it increases the pollution even more as it emits carbon monoxide as well.
Even short term exposure to all these gases that are the biggest environmental pollutants could put anyone’s health at high risk. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide causes breathing difficulties, allergies, and asthma which is more common in young children.
Research studies show that households that use a gas stove are 42% more likely to have asthma in children. On the other side, nitrogen dioxide also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and also causes heart diseases, kidney and lung diseases, and even cancer.
Carbon monoxide is also harmful to children and adults’ health as it might cause nausea, heart palpitations, headache, and even cardiac arrest.
The only solution, as per this review is to switch to electric stoves which are far better and safer for health than gas stoves. However, gas stove using households can also reduce their health hazards but placing it close to the open windows, of using an effective exhaust system. Additionally, they can also use superior quality, an air purifier that has a HEPA filter installed. Or they can install a gas leakage detector in their kitchens.
Indoor air pollution is equally harmful as outdoor air pollution as they expose the house members to harmful gases.
Dr. Robert Gould, a certified pathologist and a fellow member of Physicians for Social Responsibility has reviewed this report. He says that this risk is more for the people of color because they are generally more exposed to heavy metals.
He further added that it is the right time to make investments in health. This is only a small part of a bigger plan that we have to follow in order to save our families from these threats.