Washington Watch: Gas stoves targeted as U.S. congressman alleges consumer watchdog has sat on decades of worrisome health data

by | Aug 1, 2022 | Stock Market

An Illinois congressman wants to know why the nation’s leading consumer protection agency has not established safety standards or provided warnings to consumers on the health risks that he and at least two major studies believe come with the air pollutants emitted from popular gas stoves.   Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat from suburban Chicago who chairs the House Oversight Committee’s economic and consumer policy subcommittee, on Monday sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He shared the letter with MarketWatch.

Krishnamoorthi specifically asks why there has been no action from the CPSC despite, he alleges, the commission being aware of the potential dangers since 1986 based on an EPA report. A CPSC spokesperson confirmed receipt of the letter and said the commission is reviewing the requests. The lawmaker asks for an update on any new attention given to the issue or whether the commission believes legislation should address the health impacts from the popular appliance. The reach is significant: over one-third of U.S. households — more than 40 million homes — cook with gas, and that doesn’t include restaurants. The Krishnamoorthi letter notes, citing studies, that gas stoves emit harmful levels of several pollutants, with particular emphasis on asthma-risking nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Homes with gas stoves have average NO2 levels ranging from roughly 50% to 400% higher than homes with electric stoves, which require venting, he writes. Manufacturers of both types of stoves include General Electric
and LG
When using gas ranges, basic cooking activities, such as baking a cake or roasting meat, can produce indoor NO2 emissions two to three times greater than both the World Health Organization’s indoor NO2 guideline of 106 parts per billion (ppb) and EPA’s outdoor NO2 standard of 100 ppb, the letter says. Some studies have shown that children living in homes with gas stoves have a 42% greater …

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