Air Pollution has been rising around the world and also becoming a major reason for climate change and global warming that is expected to make living on the planet insufferable.
A new study published by the Rocky Mountain Institute of USA reveals that the Gas stoves are making people sick and contributing pollution that makes indoor air up to two to five times more polluted than outdoor air
Despite the rising risks, regulators in the country have failed to set standards for the indoor air quality — a new problem that is now likely to be worsened by a large number of people that spend time inside and cooking at home during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Gas stoves that burn fossil fuels are likely to be exposing tens of millions of Americans to air pollution levels that would be illegal if they were outside as per the study by the Rocky Mountain Institute and multiple environmental advocacy groups.
It also reports that about a third of US households cook primarily with gas that emits Nitrogen Dioxide and Carbon Dioxide, in addition to the particle pollution that all types of stoves produce. While the older and poorly maintained gas stoves pollute even more harmful gases including Carbon Monoxide.
Lead report author Brady Seals said little attention has been paid despite longstanding knowledge of the problem. “Somehow we’ve gotten accustomed to having a combustion device, often unvented, inside of the home,” Seals said.
Nitrogen dioxide also makes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worse and may be linked to heart problems, diabetes, and cancer. While Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause a headache, nausea, a rapid heartbeat, cardiac arrest, and death.
Small increases in short-term exposure to Nitrogen Dioxide can increase asthma risks for children and one analysis found that children in homes with gas stoves have a 42% higher chance of having asthma symptoms, while in Australia it attributed 12.3% of all childhood asthma burden to gas stoves.
According to the study, best solution to this pollution is changing to electric stoves. But other safe solutions for using gas stoves:
- Keeping windows open
- Cooking on the back burners
- Using an Exhaust hood
- Run air purifier with a HEPA filter
- Install a carbon monoxide detector
Indoor air pollution hits poor Americans and people of color worse because they are often also exposed to lead, mercury, highways and industrial plants, said Dr Robert Gould, a California pathologist and board member for Physicians for Social Responsibility who peer-reviewed the report.
“We just need to make these investments,” Gould said. “This fits into an overall plan we would have to protect, particularly, our vulnerable populations.”