On Jan. 4, a reporter posted a tweet about the harmful effects of household gas stoves.
“A new study just found that 12.7% of childhood asthma is caused by gas stoves,” the tweet from Michael Thomas said. “That’s 647,000 children.”
The VERIFY team has also gotten questions about gas stove use in the home including from viewer Samuel who asked us if they could have harmful health effects.
Have studies shown a connection between childhood asthma and gas stoves?
Yes, studies have shown a probable link between household stove use and childhood asthma.
WHAT WE FOUND
There have been several studies conducted in the last decade that show there is a link between household gas stove usage and childhood asthma. Most recently, a peer-reviewed study published in December 2022 found 12.7%, or roughly 650,000, of childhood asthma cases in the U.S. could be caused by air pollutants from gas stoves.
Gas stoves release pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde into the air, which increases the risk of respiratory damage, the study published in December said.
Researchers used a mathematical model in order to calculate the number of children that could have contracted asthma because of gas stoves. Researchers used data from the American Housing Survey, which estimates that gas stoves are used in 35% of U.S. homes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2018 says 1 in 12 children, or about 6 million aged 0-17 years old, have asthma.
Using these statistics, scientists plugged them into the mathematical model, which led them to the conclusion that the nearly 650,000 cases of asthma could be attributed to gas stove use.
In response to the latest study that was published, the American Gas Association (AGA) issued a statement criticizing the results and the math used to make the conclusions.
“The authors conducted no measurements or tests based on real-life appliance usage, emissions rates, or exposures, and did not adequately consider other factors that are known to contribute to asthma and other respiratory health outcomes,” the AGA says.
This is not the first study to be released that makes the connection between asthma, or broader respiratory issues, and gas stoves. Researchers with the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health referenced a study published in 2013 that also made the link.
That study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found that there was evidence that in children, gas cooking increases the risk of asthma and indoor nitrogen dioxide increases the risk of wheezing.
The 2013 analysis suggests that children living in a home with gas cooking have a 42% increased risk of currently having asthma and a 24% increased risk of having asthma in their lifetime, based on the mathematical models they used.
The latest research has led to some speculation that gas stoves would be banned federally in the U.S. – as of Jan. 11, 2023, that is not the case. However, some U.S. cities have banned natural gas hookups, including for gas stove use, in new construction.