Gas stoves provide a chef-quality cooking experience.
As one of the top-rated propane delivery companies in Southern New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, we answer many customer questions about propane appliances, including propane stoves.
Some customers have heard that gas stoves are bad for indoor air quality and may be “banned.” We want to set the record straight. The government is not going to force you to remove your gas stove. Rumors about bans started in early 2023, when the commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) expressed some concerns about stoves. The CPSC sought public consumer comments on potential hazards associated with gas stoves, the goal being to identify any risks.
Gas stoves became a point of contention because a series of studies connected them to pollution inside homes. For example, an International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health study from December 2022 stated that “12.7% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use.”
Let’s examine some of these claims and determine whether propane stove owners need to worry.
“Gas Stoves” vs. Propane Stoves
Regrettably, most of these studies only use the description “gas stoves.” However, there are some crucial differences between natural gas and propane stoves.
One often-cited Stanford study involved 53 natural gas stoves and focused on their methane leaks. But this has no bearing on propane stoves because propane contains no methane.
A Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that simply boiling water on a natural gas stove produces nearly twice the amount of nitrogen dioxide than the outdoor standard established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Considering that about a third of homes in our country cook with natural gas, that needs to be addressed.
Additionally, the link between gas stoves and respiratory health is not settled. An abstract in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine found “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”
The Issue of Particulate Matter
Another concern about gas stoves is that they produce particulate matter. The Environmental Protection Agency defines particulate matter as microscopic solids or liquid droplets so small that they can be inhaled and cause health problems.
While gas stoves produce particulates, so do electric and wood stoves. Iain Walker of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab explains that “anything with a red-hot element is going to generate particles. That includes most stovetops, ovens and even small appliances like toasters.”
How should consumers respond? Whenever you cook — regardless of the energy source — you should use your kitchen range hood or open a nearby window to vent particulate matter and any other combustion byproducts.
Electric Stove Concerns
The implication of much of the gas stove discussion is that electric stoves are better for homeowners.
However, electric stoves have safety issues, too. The National Fire Protection Association recently found that electric ranges cause household fires 2.6 times more often than gas ranges, civilian injuries 4.8 times more often and civilian deaths 3.4 times more often.
Moreover, propane stoves provide a superior cooking experience. They heat up quickly, provide precise temperature control and allow certain functions that electric products don’t, including flambéing and charring.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about stoves or other propane appliances.