Not only does it affect the quality of the air, but compelling research has proven that gas stoves are not only bad for you and your family, but also the environment. Considering that most people cook every day, the damage may be worse than you think.
According to a study from Climate Council, “Homes with gas stoves have around 50% to over 400% higher concentrations of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) than homes with electric stoves.”
In fact, they generate such unsafe levels of indoor air pollution that the NO2 pollution "reaches levels that would be illegal outside".
What are the risks of cooking with gas?
According to Climate Council, gas contains hazardous substances which can cause cancer, interfere with hormones, and contaminate the local environment.
Gas is also a household trigger for asthma and any prolonged exposure to it can contribute to the development of asthma as well as other respiratory issues.
The National Asthma Council reports that gas is responsible for up to 12% of the burden of childhood asthma in Australia.
"A child living with gas cooking in the home faces a comparable risk of asthma to a child living with household cigarette smoke,” says the Climate Council.
Children are one of the most affected demographics of these risks, as studies have shown a link between 'gas and early-life development issues'.
However, low-income households are also vulnerable as they may not be able to afford gas alternatives and may be relying on badly maintained appliances.
How to make your home safer from indoor gas pollution
If you’re not in a position to renovate your kitchen and install a new stove, then start small with preventative measures.
“Better ventilation, including modern extraction fans over stoves, flues for gas heaters and other safety measures like ensuring appliances are properly serviced or opening windows can reduce – but not eliminate – these risks.”
The best choice you can make for your health and the environment is switching to clean energy options. Solar and wind are becoming more readily available in Australia as alternatives to gas.
Considering gas was once introduced to the general public as an upgrade from other more dangerous alternatives, there's no reason why we can't make the switch now.
Not only will they save you money in the long run, but they'll improve your health and the environment too.