Discussions of whether a gas stove is dangerous have been ignited across the country after U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumpka, Jr. commented to Bloomberg News on January 9, 2023 that emissions from gas stoves are a “hidden hazard.” The same day, he also tweeted that “Gas stoves can emit dangerous levels of toxic chemicals – even when not in use.”
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and several other organizations published a report indicating that gas stoves “can lead to unhealthy levels of indoor air pollution.” That report also alleged that gas stoves cause or aggravate asthma conditions – especially in children.
With just this information, you may be convinced that gas stoves are indeed dangerous.
Do Gas Ranges Really Produce Harmful Emissions?
Don’t kick your gas range to the curb just yet – especially if you like cooking with flames. When maintained and used properly, gas ranges are safe cooking appliances according to gas industry representatives.
The American Gas Association (AGA) points out that the RMI report noted above “does not demonstrate a causal relationship between gas stove use and asthma.” On January 13, 2023, RMI publicly admitted that their report “does not assume or estimate a causal relationship” between childhood asthma and natural gas stoves.
The AGA argues that “the study Cooking Fuels and Prevalence of Asthma: A Global Analysis of Phase Three of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), which analyzed 512,707 primary and secondary school children from 108 centers in 47 countries, found no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”
How You Cook Matters
The AGA points out that “Indoor air quality studies have consistently found that emissions from the cooking process – not solely from the burner or heat source operation – represent the chief source of concern with respect to indoor air quality for various classes of pollutants such as particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. The emissions of concern are dominated by the smoke and grease that comes from cooking, regardless of the energy source used in conventional residential appliances.”
Ventilate Your Kitchen When Cooking
Whether you’re convinced one way or the other about the inherent safety of a gas stove, ventilating your kitchen by running the range hood fan will always help improve indoor air quality while cooking. You can also open windows in your kitchen when climate permits.
Tips For Using a Gas Range Safely
Follow these safety tips to avoid problems when using a gas range:
- Follow all the directions in your owner’s manual.
- Never leave the stove unattended while cooking.
- As noted above, run the range hood ventilation fan and/or open windows for proper ventilation when cooking on a gas stove.
- Make sure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Replace batteries in these devices regularly.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
- Clean the surface burners regularly so they ignite and burn properly. See the video below for details on thoroughly cleaning gas burners.
Maintain Your Gas Stove
Have your gas range professionally checked and maintained by a Sears Technician to help ensure its safest performance. During gas stove Clean & Maintain Service, the technician will:
- Examine gas line connections and check for gas leaks.
- Check all surface burner flames and make adjustments if necessary.
- Clean all stovetop burners.
- Check oven burner flames and adjust if necessary.
- Test the oven self-cleaning operation.
- Check control operation.
- Examine oven door alignment.
- Level the range and check the anti-tip device.
Having your gas range professionally maintained every year won’t just keep it operating safely, it will also help your stove last longer. Count on the Sears appliance technicians to help keep your gas stove working safely and efficiently for many years to come.