My Kitchen, My Choice

The Gas Stove Story

The American public is being prepped for possible action by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission who say they are reviewing possible health hazards posed by gas stoves and will likely take action to regulate the appliances at some point in the future.

Oddly enough, Canada isn’t jumping on that bandwagon yet, but… early days…

Are Gas Stoves Really Responsible for 12.7% of Current Childhood Asthma Cases in the US?

Recently there have been stories about the risk of childhood asthma caused by natural gas stoves. It has been suggested that this news was one ‘trial balloon’ to influence public opinion on gas stoves.

Pushback about the validity of the Gruenwald Asthma-Gas Stove Research paper came from independent sources such as this:

… the Gruenwald et al paper seems to have some clear challenges that would typically preclude it from consideration in a policy-making process. Its underlying data is of low statistical power. Its conclusion is directly contradicted by more recent studies with significantly greater statistical power and it relies on a statistical tool that is considered invalid in situations with confounding variables yet it is being used to analyze an association that is absolutely rife with confounding variables.
– Blair King, Professional Chemist, Analysis January 12, 2023

How Much Pollution?

Stanford Researchers estimate, (based on a study of 53 California homes) that  methane leaking from natural gas-burning stoves inside an estimated 40 million U.S. homes has an annual climate impact comparable to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from about 500,000 gasoline powered cars.

This suggests one stove releases emissions equivalent to .0125 gasoline-powered cars.

To put this into perspective, The U.S. Department of Energy has calculated the annual well to wheels emissions for vehicles (they used an average driving distance of 11,579 miles per year.). An All Electric vehicle emits 2817 pounds of CO2 equivalent. A gasoline vehicle emits 12594 pounds of CO2 equivalent.

By extension then, a stove would emit 157 pounds a year, though that doesn’t include emissions from manufacture, etc. Put another way – each year a gas stove releases the equivalent emissions of driving a gasoline car about  144 miles.

In response to the possibility of any mandated ‘mitigation’ strategies, this comment appeared on Twitter a few days ago: “My kitchen, my choice”. I thought this variation of “My body, my choice”  was quite funny and apropos!

“…we currently live in a political climate that prioritizes grand symbolic gestures without regard to unintended consequences or even whether they will achieve their purported goal.
– Tristan Hopper, National Post: You want to ban me? A gas stove makes its case

The Babylon Bee, a satirical news site, offered this story:  “Biden Calls for Two Weeks of Not Cooking on Gas Stoves to Flatten the Curve”.

Other Reading:

Steve Everley, Managing Director in FTI Consulting’s Energy & Natural Resources, Current Research

Time: The Best Stove for Your Health and the Environment
Gas-Stoving America
Do Gas Stoves Cause Childhood Asthma

Data Sources:
U.S. Department of Energy Emissions from Electric Vehicles
U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Climate and Health Impacts Natural Gas Stoves
Study on Natural Gas Stove Emissions in 53 Homes