Do you cook with a gas stove? Then you’ll want to read this.
Many wellness-conscious people wonder, “Where do I accumulate heavy metals or chemicals?” By simply pumping our gas or cooking with our gas stove.
Fumes emitted from the stovetop contain nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, carcinogens, and more.
We also do most of our breathing inside. So, it’s a little odd that we don’t think more about indoor air quality.
Pollutants and Why They Matter
Outdoor air is the subject of titanic legal and regulatory battles going back decades. The six common air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act — ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) — have fallen an average of 74% since the Act was passed in 1970. And it’s a good thing because a massive pile of research suggests that those pollutants are even more harmful to humans at lower exposures than previously believed.
Despite those risks, there ar
e no federal standards or guidelines governing indoor pollution. A patchwork of state and local standards protects consumers, inadequately. – Scary!
Indoor Air Matters, Too
One major source of indoor air pollution, it turns out, is the familiar gas stove, which relies on the direct combustion of natural gas. I personally never thought about this until I recently had my home tested from top to bottom.
Cooking with gas produces more pollutants, about twice as much PM2.5 as electricity. It also produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), including nitrogen oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde (CH2O or HCHO). All of these pollutants are health risks if not properly managed.
CO is an invisible, odorless gas that, at high enough concentrations, causes dizziness, headaches, fatigue, disorientation, and eventually death. (In the US, 27 states require CO monitors by law.)
Though research has found that the presence of gas stoves in the home is one source of elevated risk of CO poisoning, that generally only happens when something goes wrong. A gas stove with a pilot light, a poorly ventilated space, a burner left on, something can be dangerous. Among average people, symptoms start at around 70 parts per million (ppm).
Even low-level CO exposure can exacerbate cardiovascular illness among people with coronary heart disease and other vulnerable populations. California’s ambient air quality standards cap CO exposure at 20 ppm over a one-hour period or 9 ppm over an eight-hour period.
Let’s Talk About NO2
And then there’s NO2, one of the most familiar and well-studied pollutants. EPA research shows that exposure to NO2 — even small increases in short-term exposure — exacerbates respiratory problems, particularly asthma, and particularly in children.
There is no EPA standard for indoor NO2, but the standard for long-term outdoor exposure is 53 parts per billion (ppb). However, effects have been documented at much lower exposures. A 2013 study of indoor NO2 from stoves found that, among children with asthma, “every 5 ppb increase in NO2 exposure above a threshold of 6 ppb” led to a measurable increase in wheezing and asthma severity.
A more recent study also linked long-term NO2 exposure to “cardiovascular effects, diabetes, poorer birth outcomes, premature mortality, neuropsychological development through the first 4 years of life, and cancer.”
In short, research shows that even low levels of NO2 exposure are dangerous, especially to the vulnerable. Yet the
EPA’s own science shows that homes with gas stoves have around 50 percent, ranging up to over 400 percent, higher levels of NO2 than homes with electric stoves. Concentrations can often exceed US outdoor pollution standards.
Protecting Yourself from Indoor Pollutants
All cooking should be done in a properly ventilated space. If your nose warns you something is up, you should always open a window. Common sense is your guide.
A properly installed and operated gas stove, with a properly installed and operated hood or fan that leads outside, seems to be no danger to those who live with it, except perhaps to those with the most compromised respiratory systems. Open windows to cool and air out your space, and always turn on your fan.
These chemicals can build up within our systems unless remediated from our bodies. We can test your overall toxic burden and the start detoxification process.
On May 9th we are starting a 90-day group detox to do just this. We ALL need this. Take your health to the next level and vow to improve your toxicity level so you can go from feeling good to feeling great.