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AZ Consumer Group Demands Safety Warnings on Gas Ranges

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022   

Time was, when someone told you, "Now, you're cooking with gas!" it was meant as a compliment. But research shows that using a gas cooktop or range can introduce dangerous pollutants in your home.

According to the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, many retailers fail to adequately inform people of the dangers of cooking with gas, and should warn them at the point of sale. Diane Brown, director of Arizona PIRG, said an open gas flame can release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde and particulate matter into a home kitchen.

"Running a stove for as little as one hour can lead to concentrations of unsafe pollutants that far exceed health-based standards," she said. "Exposure can contribute to asthma, especially in children."

Arizona PIRG has said it wants retailers to put mandatory product-safety warnings on all natural gas stoves. The group has pointed to data from a 2020 study by medical and environmental groups that found natural gas contributes to climate change as well as air pollution in confined spaces.

Brown said it's important for people to know there are nontoxic alternatives to gas appliances.

"Cooking with electric and induction technology offers a healthier, safer and more energy-efficient choice for consumers," she said. "Electric and induction cooktops are compatible with renewable energy."

Brown said Arizona PIRG is calling on major national retailers to attach warning labels to gas stoves that describe potential health risks and stress that proper ventilation is crucial. They also recommend installing carbon monoxide alarms in homes where gas appliances are in use.

"Consumers deserve to have adequate warning of potential dangers of products," she said, "particularly when it comes to a costly, long-term decision like purchasing a kitchen appliance."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voluntary regulations for gas appliances but does not require mandatory safety warnings.

Disclosure: Arizona PIRG Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Consumer Issues, Energy Policy, Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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