HOUSTON - Debate ignited over gas stoves this week after the Consumer Product Safety Commission proposed banning them for safety reasons.
"I think people ought to be able to choose whether it's gas or electric at home," said Brian Stine, a gas stove user. "I prefer to cook on gas myself. So until I'm forced to go to electric, I'll stay with gas."
Nearly 40% of homes have gas stoves as many cooks prefer them to help control the heat.
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But the heat was on after the Consumer Product Safety Commission said it would consider banning gas stoves due to health hazards.
The CPSC is now walking those comments back but says it is looking at strengthening safety standards.
Researchers at Consumer Reports explain gas burners emit dangerous pollutants into the air.
"One is carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which we've known about for a long time. But recent studies, including some we’ve done at Consumer Reports found nitrogen oxides are also created inside the home when you turn on a gas burner," explained Paul Hope with Consumer Reports.
Recent reports say those emissions can cause heart issues, cancer, and respiratory illnesses.
"Nitrogen oxides are known to exacerbate existing lung conditions and respiratory illnesses and a new study recently came out that roughly 12% of all childhood asthma cases can be linked to gas range," said Hope.
But in a statement, the American Gas Association points to a 2013 Lancet Respiratory Medicine study that "detected no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis."
The CPSC says any new regulations would concern new stoves, saying "no one is coming for your stove." New regulations could include requiring hoods or ducted hoods that vent outside.
Consumer Reports offers safety tips for using a gas stove:
- Use a vent, or add one if you don't have one.
- Ventilate by opening doors and windows, using fans or air filters.
- Use an electric or induction stovetop, which does not produce emissions.