A federal agency may implement a nationwide ban on natural gas stoves over concerns they cause health and respiratory problems, an official said.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will have public comment about gas stoves in the winter of 2023 and could set standards on emissions—even possibly banning them, CPSC head Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg News. Natural gas stoves are estimated to be used in some 40 percent of all U.S. homes.
“This is a hidden hazard,” Trumka told the news service in an interview published Monday. “Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
The CPSC already issued a request for information seeking data on the alleged hazards associated with gas stoves and input for solutions, but the CPSC has not proposed any regulatory actions yet, a spokesperson told news outlets on Monday. The Epoch Times has contacted the agency for comment.
Such a request for data and input, Trumka told reporters last month, “is the first step in what could be a long journey toward regulating gas stoves.” Trumka, a Biden appointee, is a former congressional Democrat staffer and the son of Richard Trumka, the late former chief of one of the most powerful unions in the United States, the AFL-CIO.
A ban on the manufacturing and importing of new gas stoves is a “real possibility,” he added at the time. If there is enough public pressure, the CPSC “could get a regulation on the books before this time next year,” Trumka said.
Industry groups say that natural gas stoves do not necessarily emit more harmful emissions than other types of stoves. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and American Gas Association both argued against a possible ban.
“Ventilation is really where this discussion should be, rather than banning one particular type of technology,” Jill Notini, a vice president at the home appliance association, told Bloomberg. “Banning one type of a cooking appliance is not going to address the concerns about overall indoor air quality. We may need some behavior change, we may need [people] to turn on their hoods when cooking.”
While Karen Harbert, head of the American Gas Association, argued that neither the CPSC nor the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “present gas ranges as a significant contributor to adverse air quality or health hazard in their technical or public information literature, guidance, or requirements.”
Instead, she said, “The most practical, realistic way to achieve a sustainable future where energy is clean, as well as safe, reliable and affordable, is to ensure it includes natural gas and the infrastructure that transports it.”
The EPA and World Health Organization have said that natural gas stoves, however, emit unsafe levels of air pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other particles. Some studies, critics of the stoves have claimed, show that natural gas appliances leak methane even when turned off.
A study published in December, meanwhile, found that gas stove pollution is linked to 12.7 percent of childhood asthma cases. The study was led by an environmental group, not a health or safety organization.
Several months ago, the California Air Resources Board unanimously voted to ban the sale of natural gas-fired furnaces and water heaters by 2030.
“We need to take every action we can to deliver on our commitments to protect public health from the adverse impacts of air pollution, and this strategy identifies how we can do just that,” California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Liane Randolph said in a Sept. 22 statement after the ban was voted on. Like other groups, CARB claimed that the move would benefit “many low-income and disadvantaged communities.”
Conservative groups have criticized bans on natural gas-powered appliances and furnaces.
“Banning natural gas would restrict consumers’ ability to choose the energy source they might prefer. A big reason that families like natural gas is because it wins out on cost,” the Heritage Foundation said in an article several years ago.
The American Gas Association also said in 2020 that “households that use natural gas for heating, cooking, and clothes drying save an average of $879 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications.”