Researchers at the American Chemical Society warn that the gas stove can be a hidden enemy in the home. That’s because the appliance can release dangerous air pollutants during use and even when turned off. One of the main pollutants associated with cooking gas is nitrogen dioxide, a by-product of combustion. So much so that exposures to nitrogen dioxide in homes have been linked to more severe asthma.
In homes, this compound comes both from outside air that seeps into indoor environments and from indoor sources. Road traffic is the most significant external source, and the gas stove is often the most significant internal source.
There are many homes where the gas stove contributes more to indoor nitrogen dioxide levels than pollution from outside sources. It turns out that outdoor pollution is dispersed over a large area, while indoor pollution is concentrated in a small space.
So the amount of indoor pollution you get from a gas stove is affected by the structure of your home, which means indoor environmental exposures to nitrogen dioxide are greater for some people than others. People who live in larger houses with exhaust fans and well ventilated are generally less exposed to pollutants.
How to avoid indoor pollution?
The gas stove has been linked to an increase in pollutants capable of generating health problems that, in addition to asthma, range from nosebleeds, headaches and sore throats to fatigue and nausea. In fact, children and people with chronic conditions like asthma, heart and lung disease are significantly more vulnerable to the by-products of cooking gas combustion.
According to a study published this year, gas stoves not in use emit methane, (a colorless, odorless gas that is the main component of natural gas) at a level that traps as much heat in the atmosphere as about 400,000 cars, raising an alert. According to experts, the opportunity to have cleaner air indoors can be a strong motivator to make the switch to safer alternatives, such as the induction stove, for example.
Source: Environmental Science & Technology, Indoor Air Pollution from Cooking
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