Written on: October 23, 2023
With recent headlines highlighting concerns about the safety of gas stoves, you may start to question the safety of your current propane stove or have second thoughts about purchasing one.
Besides the news headlines, there is a whirlwind of rumors circulating on social media suggesting that the federal government intends to ban the sale and usage of gas stoves, including propane-powered ones.
Let’s address the baseless rumor upfront: there are no plans to confiscate your gas stove. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) aims to gather valuable insights from you and the public about any potential risks associated with these stoves. As a government agency, their sole focus is ensuring consumer safety, without any intentions of depriving people of products they rely on daily in their homes.
In a January 11, 2023, statement, CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric said, “I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”
Now, let’s analyze the information that has been disseminated through both traditional and partisan media outlets, along with social media.
Extensive research has consistently highlighted the potential dangers associated with indoor cooking. Regardless of whether you use a gas stovetop, electric range, or wood-burning stove, all cooking methods emit particulate matter (PM) into the air within your home.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States has provided clarification on PM, or particulate matter, which pertains to minuscule solid or liquid particles that can be breathed in and pose substantial health hazards to the lungs.
When cooking steak in a pan on the stovetop, the searing process produces smoke that contains harmful particulate matter. Inhaling this smoky air can have negative effects on your health, so it is crucial to maintain a healthy kitchen environment. Indoor air quality specialists strongly recommend the use of range hoods to effectively remove the contaminated particles. If you don’t have a range hood, a simple solution is to open a window near the cooking area, which will significantly improve ventilation.
There is a mounting concern regarding the increasing levels of anxiety surrounding the release of methane from diverse sources of natural gas, encompassing not only cooking stoves. This development is indeed worrisome, given that methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas and constitutes the majority of natural gas composition.
It is crucial to understand that propane is not categorized as a greenhouse gas due to its absence of methane.
Another example highlights the impact of not differentiating between these two types of fuels on public perception. Recent findings from a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health shed light on this issue. According to the study, the use of gas stoves contributes to approximately 12.7% of current pediatric asthma cases. However, the researchers failed to distinguish between propane and natural gas stoves. Instead, they referred to them simply as “gas stoves,” without acknowledging or recognizing the differences between the two.