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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Groups urge WA to warn about gas-burning health effects

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Monday, December 4, 2023   

The American Gas Association misled the public on the health effects of burning gas for decades. Now, a coalition wants the Washington State Department of Health to set the record straight.

Nineteen groups signed a letter to the agency calling for it to detail the public health impacts from burning gas in homes and buildings.

Past president of the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility Mark Vosslier said his organization and others wrote the letter because the Department of Health has an important role in informing the public about health risks.

"Now that we know about the health risks of burning gas for heating and cooking," said Vosslier, "it makes perfect sense the department of Health can take an active role in shifting us away from unhealthy practices toward healthier practices."

The effect of burning gas inside homes, such as from gas stoves, includes a 42% increase in asthma symptoms among kids because of exposure to pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide.

The American Gas Association says gas ranges are a minor source of nitrogen dioxide.

The groups that signed the letter to the Department of Health note burning gas also impacts outdoor air quality.

Ruth Sawyer - climate and clean energy organizer with Sierra Club Washington - said cleaner alternatives are available, and the state has committed to a completely clean energy grid by 2040.

"There's a whole diversity of sources of renewable and clean energy," said Sawyer, "that the state is going to be investing in over the next many years to transition our electricity to be fully clean and renewable."

Vossler said we should no longer put people at risk by burning gas.

"Making an effort to reduce both indoor and outdoor pollution will save lives," said Vosslier.



Disclosure: Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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