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A Federal Safety Commissioner Proposes a Ban on New Gas Stoves; the CPSC Says No Such Official Plan Has Been Developed

A US Consumer Product Safety Commission commissioner has proposed a ban on gas stoves, calling them a “hidden menace.” In an interview with Bloomberg News, Richard Trumka Jr. stated that all options for regulating the appliances, which have been demonstrated to be damaging to both human health and the environment, would be considered.

“Products that cannot be rendered safe can be prohibited,” Trumka said, adding that the commission may also consider imposing additional emissions requirements on the appliances. Trumka is one of the CPSC’s commissioners.

In a later tweet, Trumka stressed that any new laws would only apply to new appliances. “To be clear, the CPSC is not going after anyone’s gas stoves. “Regulations apply to new products,” he explained, noting that the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act gives an $840 reimbursement for replacing equipment such as gas stoves.

According to a CPSC representative, there is no official proposal on the topic yet, and any action to regulate the appliances would be a “lengthy process.” “Agency staff intends to begin gathering data and public perspectives on potential hazards associated with gas stoves, as well as proposed remedies to those concerns, later this year,” according to the statement.

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“Commission staff also continues to collaborate with voluntary standards organizations to investigate gas stove emissions and identify potential dangers.” Gas stoves are still used in approximately 40% of American homes.

Though some chefs prefer them, they can generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and methane, particularly in poorly ventilated spaces or if the stoves are not well maintained. According to one recent study, one in every eight occurrences of childhood asthma in the United States can be traced to the presence of a gas stove in the home.

Multiple U.S. senators and representatives encouraged the CPSC in a December letter to take action on the dangers of gas stoves, which they said disproportionately affect minority and low-income areas. “We request that the CPSC expressly analyze the unequal health outcomes that result from the coupling of gas stoves with the material realities that the most vulnerable Americans face, as well as evaluate the health implications of gas leaks caused by gas stove hookups,” they wrote.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers warned in a statement that a ban would be unwise. “A ban on gas cooking appliances would deprive the country of an affordable and favored technology used in more than 40% of homes,” it stated.

“A prohibition would fail to address the general concern of indoor air quality during cooking, because all kinds of cooking, regardless of heat source, emit air pollutants, especially at high temperatures. A greater emphasis on ventilation is an excellent way to improve indoor air quality when cooking.”

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