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The science behind toxic exposure and gas stoves

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Personal Injury Law

Have all the news reports about the dangers of gas stoves got you worried? 

Even though the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) isn’t interested in ending the use of gas stoves, the same may not hold true in your own community – and that might not be a bad thing. (Berkely, for example, outright banned their use in new construction in 2019.) If you’re worried about toxic substances in your home, here’s what you need to know:

Dangerous toxins from gas stoves has been known since the 1980s

A somewhat off-hand comment early this year by an official from the CPSC started a lot of buzz about gas stoves, but the reality is that the problem with pollutants produced by gas stoves has been known for decades.

When you use a gas stove, it spews unseen particles into the air of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide. NO2, which is associated with asthma, is considered particularly dangerous, given that homes with gas stoves often have NO2 levels that are between 50% and 400% higher than homes that do not. 

Benzene, a known carcinogen that’s associated with reproductive damage and disorders like leukemia, also leaks from gas stoves – even when they aren’t in use. 

You can, however, mitigate the danger with these tips:

  • Install a quality range hood that vents to the outdoors and use it whenever you cook
  • Use the back burners more often than the front (so that the hood is more effective)
  • Open a window to reduce CO2 levels when you cook and use a fan 

You should also make sure you have a working CO2 monitor in the kitchen to track how much levels rise when you’re cooking. And, finally, you probably should consider converting to an electric stove whenever possible.

Chemicals like CO2, NO2 and benzene are found in numerous substances, from dry shampoos to medications, and they are all dangerous to humans. If you’ve been injured due to exposure to a toxic substance, it’s wise to explore your legal options.