Health Harms from Gas Stoves

Why Gas Stoves?

Gas appliances that burn methane (“fracked” or “natural” gas) – like gas stoves, furnaces, and water heaters – are common throughout much of the United States. These appliances, despite their popularity, produce harmful air pollutants that can negatively impact your and your family’s health. These health effects include childhood asthma, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, and neurological damage. 

Anyone with a gas stove can be at risk from this source of air pollution right in your home. (The pollutants from burning gas include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter.) Stoves are a particular concern because they are not routinely vented to the outdoors. 

Additionally, gas stove health effects tend to have the greatest impact on communities of color and low-income families, who often live in smaller homes and apartments and are likely to face greater pre-existing health and pollution burdens.

Not only does combusting methane gas in our homes and businesses damage our health, it also maintains the demand for the oil and gas industry’s extraction, transport, and sale of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane is over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping the sun’s heat in the atmosphere. 

Methane also leaks out of the almost three million miles of gas pipelines across the nation. These “fugitive emissions,” along with the methane leaks from gas appliances and extraction sites, cause atmospheric methane to be at an all-time high, contributing to climate change.

Graph showing increasing methane emissions over 40 years
The increase in methane (CH4) emissions over the past 40 years.

PSR's Work on Gas Stoves

To address this often overlooked health issue, PSR created and offers a CME- and CEU-accredited webinar entitled Cooking With Gas: Health Harms from Gas Stoves. This hour long webinar is organized by its three learning objectives:

  1. Articulate how cooking with gas appliances produces dangerous indoor air pollution and explain the health effects of each pollutants
  2. Recognize and prioritize vulnerable populations, as well as understand why they are vulnerable through the context of environmental racism and classism
  3. Address the health effects of gas stove pollution and explain to patients, family, and loved ones the steps they can take to reduce their risk

This training, launched in March 2022, has had proven success in educating a multitude of audiences, spanning from health professionals to environmental advocates to elected officials to major health insurance providers. PSR provides training for chapters across the country and organizations like Sierra Club, AmeriHealth Caritas, and the Building Decarbonization Coalition, sparking change in mindsets around residential methane gas use at the individual and enterprise-wide levels.

Upcoming Trainings

Below is a list of upcoming Gas Stove webinar trainings that are open to everyone and anyone. If interested, please register or join the Zoom meeting at the links below:

  • New trainings coming soon! Please check back for details.

If you would like to schedule a webinar training session at your organization or have any questions regarding PSR’s work on the health harms of gas stoves, please send an email to PSR National’s Health Educator, Zach Williams (zwilliams@psr.org).  

To learn more about the steps you can take to protect your and your family's health, visit our Solutions page.

PSR Chapter Work on Gas Stoves & Building Electrification

PSR National’s efforts to educate health professionals about the dangers of gas stove pollution is a part of an organization-wide effort to curb the extraction, transport, sale, and use of methane gas across the country. Many PSR Chapters have made incredible strides in this area of work, here are just a few examples:

Through advocacy and policy work, WPSR helped to push through a new statewide commercial and multifamily building energy code that will require public buildings and newly constructed large commercial & multifamily residential buildings to reduce energy use by 70% by 2031 and enhance energy efficiency, making it the strongest, most climate-friendly energy code in the country.

Through advocacy, education and coalition work, GBPSR helped pass a Boston ordinance requiring emissions standards for large buildings. The emissions standards will decrease over time, with all buildings achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

SFB PSR produced a Health Harms of Gas Stoves fact sheet and patient brochure, an introduction to building electrification animated video and a social media infographics series, an extensive resources list, and a bureau of trained speakers who give public testimony and talks regularly.

PSR Colorado is raising awareness through outreach, advertising, and policy action that broad, equitable access to all-electric housing is essential to addressing the critical health threats posed by continued dependence on fossil fuels.

Through communicating the health harms of gas, as well as mold and moisture in Pennsylvania's older housing stock, PSR PA helped support the creation of a statewide program to fund home repairs, which will also enable homeowners to update their below-code electrical wiring in preparation for all electric power. They also supported local advocate POWER in pushing Philadelphia Gas Works to include a $500,000 geothermal engineering study in their operating budget for the 22-23 fiscal year and for the city's Gas Commission to require PGW to report quarterly on climate initiatives related to the city's resolution to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Oregon PSR collaborated with Spake Media and Sunstone Strategies to launch a social media health awareness campaign about the health impacts of gas stoves.

Resources

Fact Sheets - 1-page summaries of gas stove pollution health effects and mitigation strategies, one for a health professional audience and one for the general population

Health Effects From Gas Stove Pollution Report - PSR’s 2020 report which presents scientific evidence that gas stoves release several hazardous pollutants, notably nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide

Building Electrification Resource Repository - an ever-growing and frequently updated list of resources about Building Electrification, the health harms of gas appliances, and more created and maintained by the PSR San Francisco Bay chapter

Gas stove top

Gas Stoves in the Media

By The Numbers

1 in 3

of households currently cook using gas.

Gas Stoves and Health

Gas stoves produce dangerous levels of indoor air pollution, in addition to worsening the climate crisis.

0

federal regulations or guidelines address indoor air quality

Indoor Air Quality

Peak indoor air pollution from gas stoves can
reach levels that would be illegal outdoors

PSR advocates for building electrification, replacing gas-powered furnaces and stoves with highly efficient electric heat pumps and electric induction stovetops. Learn more

Latest Gas Stoves News & Actions

PSR & Coalition Members Petition EPA to Regulate Pollution from Furnaces

PSR, along with 26 other organizations including Sierra Club and U.S. PIRG, petitioned the EPA to regulate air pollution from residential and commercial furnaces under the Clean Air Act.

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Warn Your Patients About Gas Stoves

Gas stoves are a health risk. PSR’s My Green Doctor explains the data and offers advice in a short article that you can share with your patients.

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Massachusetts Passes ‘Landmark’ Climate Legislation

With support from environmental groups including Greater Boston PSR, the Massachusetts state legislature passed, and the governor signed, a powerful new climate bill that has been called a “landmark.”

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PSR’s Analysis of the Inflation Reduction Act

In passing the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress and President Biden have made the largest investment this nation has ever seen to address the climate crisis.

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