The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering a ban on gas stoves, citing mounting research linking the appliance to a host of health problems including children’s asthma. In addition to a potential ban on new gas stoves, Bloomberg reports the agency is looking into setting industry-wide standards on stove emissions.
One of the agency’s commissioners, Richard Trumka, first raised the “real possibility” of a ban last month. “We need to be talking about regulating gas stoves, whether that’s drastically improving emissions or banning gas stoves entirely,” Trumka said at the time. “And I think we ought to keep that possibility of a ban in mind because it’s a powerful tool in our tool belt and it’s a real possibility here.”
Gas stoves, as we’ve extensively reported, are shockingly dangerous—even when they’re turned off. About one in eight cases of childhood asthma is caused by exposure to gas stove emissions, a recent study concluded. So how did the appliance take over American households? Good old-fashioned industry propaganda. As Rebecca Leber reported:
For decades, sleek industry campaigns have portrayed gas stoves—like granite countertops, farm sinks, and stainless-steel refrigerators—as a coveted symbol of class and sophistication, not to mention a selling point for builders and real estate agents.
The strategy has been remarkably successful in boosting sales of natural gas, but as the tides turn against fossil fuels, defending gas stoves has become a rear guard action. While stoves were once crucial to expanding the industry’s empire, now they are a last-ditch attempt to defend its shrinking borders.
The industry has also worked extensively to block legislation seeking to reduce the prevalence of gas stoves in at least seven states.
In December 2021, a group of lawmakers, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, wrote a letter demanding the CPSC to set new performance standards for gas appliances and educate the public on the dangers of cooking with gas. President Joe Biden also included a rebate of up to $840 in the Inflation Reduction Act for customers who purchase new electric cooking appliances.