Everyone’s Been Talking About Gas Stoves Lately—Here’s What You Need to Know

We’ll explain why gas stoves have been sparking debate, plus debunk concerns about a gas stove ban.

What’s all this commotion in the news about gas stoves being banned in the United States? Will you have to swap your beloved gas stove for the rumored uneven cook of an electric stovetop? Not quite: Let’s take a look at the discourse surrounding this hot topic.

Gas stove in statement blue kitchen

Anthony Masterson

The Public Discussion Surrounding Gas Stoves

In December 2022, the White House held an electrification summit where there was discussion of the positive impacts associated with swapping gas-powered appliances—including gas stoves—in American households for their electric equivalents. On January 9, 2023, Bloomberg published an article citing Richard Trumka Jr., the commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an independent agency of the U.S. government that oversees the safety of consumer products. Trumka is quoted as saying that gas stoves are “a hidden hazard … Any option is on the table. Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

This caused quite a stir, especially among some who believed this was a statement of intention fueled by climate interest groups that would be detrimental to industry. Trumka immediately responded to this, tweeting on January 9, “to be clear, CPSC isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves.”

A few days after the Bloomberg article and Trumka’s tweet, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed concerns about the potential banning of gas stoves in a press briefing, stating “The president does not support banning gas stoves … And the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is independent, is not banning gas stoves.” This exact sentiment was reiterated that same day by CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric: There is no plan for a gas stove ban. 

What’s Wrong with Your Gas Stove?

What reasons could be behind the concern surrounding these household appliances? They primarily break down into environmental and human health concerns.

From an environmental perspective, gas stoves obviously run directly off of fossil fuels, the extraction and burning of which emit greenhouse gasses and contribute to climate change. Switching to electric stoves is an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint. However, if our electricity is also coming from the burning of fossil fuels, this reduction isn’t very significant. That said, the ultimate goal of climate advocacy groups and many local (and larger) government groups is to shift the electric grid towards renewable energy sources. If we swap more gas-powered appliances in our homes to electric, in concurrence with shifting the grid towards renewable energy, positive strides can be made toward decreasing the 13% of all national greenhouse gas emissions residential homes are responsible for.

Kitchen with white stove and patterned rug
John Bessler

Beyond that, a recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology found that gas-powered stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and even fireplaces emit both methane and various nitrous oxides. A further study found that the amount of methane released by gas stoves was an even higher percentage than scientists previously thought. Methane is a dangerously potent greenhouse gas, nearly 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, nitrous oxide, one compound in the family of nitrous oxides, has 300 times the atmospheric warming potential of carbon dioxide.

These gasses have also been linked to negative impacts on human health. One meta-analysis published very recently in December 2022 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that 12.7% of current childhood asthma in America is attributable to gas stove usage. Beyond that, it’s pretty well-accepted among scientists that the gasses emitted by gas stoves, including nitrous dioxide, are harmful to human health, particularly our airways. Also, unburned gas, of which a small amount is leaked in the process of lighting your stove, contains benzene—a known carcinogen to humans.

For these reasons, many cities across the nation have already banned gas stoves, including many in California and some in Colorado. Even still, with nearly 40% of American households still relying on gas stoves for cooking their meals, a nationwide ban would have far-reaching impacts, requiring an enormous amount of infrastructure and funding, making the reality of a nationwide ban on gas stoves quite unlikely.

If you look hard enough, you’ll find some opinion pieces and social media posts that aren’t buying the reassurances from the government and CPSC, perpetuating the belief that the White House is after your gas stove, that the health claims about gas-burning appliances are inaccurate, and that this story is still developing. But with the evidence we currently have, that just isn’t the case.

However, if you feel moved to electrify your home, the Inflation Reduction Act does offer rebates and cost coverage for converting gas-run appliances in your home to electric. But for now, continue to enjoy the click of your stove signifying hot tea is on the way without fear that government officials will be hauling it away from you anytime soon.

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  1. Eric D. Lebel, Colin J. Finnegan, Zutao Ouyang, and Robert B. Jackson. "Methane and NOx Emissions from Natural Gas Stoves, Cooktops, and Ovens in Residential Homes." Environmental Science & Technology. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.1c04707

  2. "Methane: A Crucial Opportunity in the Climate Fight." Environmental Defense Fund.

  3. "Overview of Greenhouse Gasses." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  4. Gruenwald T, Seals BA, Knibbs LD, Hosgood HD III. "Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010075

  5. Lewis, Tanya. "The Health Risks of Gas Stoves Explains." Scientific American.

  6. Lebel ED, Michanowicz DR, Bilsback KR, Hill LAL, Goldman JSW, Domen JK, Jaeger JM, Ruiz A, Shonkoff SBC. "Composition, Emissions, and Air Quality Impacts of Hazardous Air Pollutants in Unburned Natural Gas from Residential Stoves in California." Environmental Science & Technology. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c02581

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