New Study Links Gas Stove Use to Childhood Asthma

Researchers linked gas stoves to 650,000 cases of childhood asthma in the United States

Air pollution from indoor gas stoves commonly found in homes throughout the United States may be a significant cause of childhood asthma, according to the findings of a new study, which further increases the concerns over side effects of gas stoves.

Roughly one in every eight cases of childhood asthma could caused by gas stoves indoor pollution, according to findings published on December 21, in the journal International Environmental Research and Public Health.

Australian researchers analyzed peer-reviewed studies focusing on gas cooking and its effects on children. They then estimated the proportion of children under the age of 18 exposed to gas stoves in the US using the American Housing Survey.

Gas Stove Asthma Risks

The findings of the study indicated living in a home with a gas stove increases a child’s risk of having asthma by 42%, and the use of gas stoves may be responsible for nearly 13% of all childhood asthma cases diagnosed in the U.S.

Roughly 35% of homes in the U.S. use gas stoves, which the researchers concluded leads to nearly 650,000 cases of childhood asthma. However, the proportion of children with asthma caused by gas stoves is likely much higher in certain states, the researchers reported.

The highest rates of asthma from gas stoves were identified in Illinois, with 21% of cases linked to the indoor polution. In California, researchers estimate the rate is 20%, and New York was nearly 19%. Both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania had lower rates of asthma from gas stoves, with 15% and 14% of childhood asthma cases, respectively.

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Further research is needed to fully quantify the side effects gas stoves on childhood asthma and to determine the burden at county levels, the researchers determined.

Other Studies Link Gas Stoves to Asthma Risks

When a gas stove is turned on to cook food, it releases some air pollutants. This can include particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritant and even short-term exposure can lead to asthma attacks.

Researchers in this new study estimated that if all residential gas appliances were transitioned to clean-energy appliances in California alone, there would be 354 fewer deaths every year and the number of cases of bronchitis would be significantly reduced.

This isn’t the first study to point to gas stoves as a contributor to indoor air pollution. Research published in 2022 indicated harmful cancer-causing chemicals are released from natural gas stoves into homes. Trace analysis from the study found 21 different non-methane volatile organic compounds released into homes. Several carried hazardous air pollutant designations.

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