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STANFORD, Calif. -- Adding to a growing body of concern over gas stoves, a new Stanford study published on Thursday found that gas stoves emit far more methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, than previously thought. The researchers estimated that gas stoves across the United States emit methane equivalent to the annual emissions from 500,000 cars.
In addition to methane emissions, the study measured health-harming air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), emitted by gas stoves inside the home. The study found that stoves used without ventilation can surpass the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for one-hour exposure to nitrogen dioxide in outdoor settings within a few minutes of stove usage, particularly in smaller kitchens. The study found no relationship between either the age or purchase price of the stove with methane or NOx emissions.
“This is a huge deal: We already knew that gas stoves were bad for health and climate, but this new study illuminates the depth of the problem,” said Erin Skibbens, PIRG environment campaigns associate. “Not only does it take just a few minutes of cooking on a gas stove to produce levels of indoor air pollution that cause serious health impacts, such as asthma, over the long term— gas stoves also present an underestimated threat to our climate. Even newer stoves emit harmful methane into our atmosphere and threaten our respiratory health. There’s no justifying the tired belief that gas stoves are best. It’s time to transition to cleaner, safer electric and induction cooking.
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