Are Gas Stoves Safe?

Here’s why people are worried, and what you can do to minimize health risks.

February 02, 2023

Related To:

1347890261

Photo by: SEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

SEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

In early January, Richard Trumka Jr., a U.S. Consumer Product Safety (CPSC) commissioner, told Bloomberg in an interview that the federal agency is considering a ban on gas stoves. The interview has reignited concerns over the potential health and environmental dangers of using them. While the agency is not banning gas ranges at this time, you may be wondering how worried you should be. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why Are People Worried About Gas Stoves?

There are two main issues that are being raised, one pertaining to health and the other to the environment.

When you cook with gas, pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and methane, are released into the air in your kitchen. The most immediate concern is the high levels of nitrogen oxide that are given off. Nitrogen oxide is associated with respiratory illness and according to studies, it increases the risk of asthma in children. If someone in your household suffers from asthma or another chronic respiratory disease, it’s probably a good idea to consider switching to electric cooking.

The other concern is methane. Methane is a major greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. That’s another good reason to replace your gas stove with an electric model. Keep in mind that gas ranges use less fuel and therefore produce less methane than gas-powered water heaters and clothes dryers.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Minimize Health Risks?

The best thing you can do is ventilate your kitchen. Keep the windows open when you’re cooking. If you don’t have a vent hood or exhaust fan, install one and if you do own one, be sure to use it every time you cook. The best hoods direct air to the outdoors. Recirculating vents, like the ones below over-the-range microwave ovens, are less effective at clearing the air.

It’s also a good idea to use an air purifier in the kitchen. Look for one that’s designed to cover the square footage in the room. You’ll get the best results from a model that uses a True HEPA filter.

Install a carbon monoxide detector in your kitchen. And make sure to clean or replace the filters in your hood or air purifier and the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector regularly.

1311561037

Photo by: Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

How Does Cooking with Electricity Compare to Cooking with Gas?

Many cooks prefer gas because they can visually gauge the heat level by looking at the flame. Gas burners also heat up cookware faster than traditional electric coils. However, gas doesn’t necessarily give faster or more even cooking results. For the best experience with electric cooking, we recommend choosing an induction range, which heats up instantaneously and gives even better control over the heat level than a gas range.

Is There Anything I Need to Know About Switching Over to an Electric Stove?

While your gas range runs on a standard 120-volt electric line, an electric range requires a 240-volt line. If there isn’t one in your kitchen, check with an electrician to see if a new higher-powered line can be installed and how much it would cost. Sometimes putting in a new electric line can cost more than the price of a new stove.

Bottom Line: If you have a gas range, love it, and aren’t in a position to replace it, be sure to follow all our above recommendations for keeping the air in your kitchen as clean as possible. The one caveat is if you or someone you love suffers from asthma or another respiratory problem; in that case, consider making the switch to electric.

In the event that you’re in the market for a new range, it’s a good idea to purchase an induction model. Not only will it improve the air quality in your home, but it will also be better for the environment.

Related Content:

Next Up

Just Eat the Non-Organic Strawberries – Here’s Why You Should Disregard the ‘Dirty Dozen’

Registered dietitians and a food toxicology expert weigh in on whether pesticide residue should deter you from eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.

What Parents Need to Know About the AAP’s New Weight Loss Guidelines for Kids

We asked registered dieticians to break down the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recently released guidelines, which are the first of their kind in 15 years.

Chipotle Brings Back Its Most Requested Menu Item Once Again

The fan-favorite protein, Carne Asada, was last seen in 2020.

Aldi’s Holiday Advent Calendars Return November 2

In addition to the fan-favorite wine and beer calendars, you can expect to find new ones with hot sauce and candles.

Red Lobster Closes Dozens of Restaurants Across U.S.

The seafood chain is shutting down locations in 27 states.

’90s Kid-Drink SunnyD Is Growing Up

Say hello to SunnyD Vodka Seltzer.

How A Food Safety Expert Cleans Her Kitchen

When was the last time you cleaned these spots in your space?

Should You Stop Eating Popular Sugar Substitute, Erythritol?

A newly published study reports that the artificial sweetener may be linked to cardiovascular health risks.

Should You Try Vitamin IV Infusions?

You may have noticed celebrities hopping on the intravenous micronutrient therapy train. But are they actually safe to use, and worth the splurge?