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Manufacturer faces lawsuit over alleged failure to disclose health risks of its appliances: 'Consumers have a right to know'

The lawsuit says that the company is in violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

The lawsuit says that the company is in violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

Photo Credit: iStock

Haier US Appliance Solutions is being taken to court over allegations it has not disclosed the risks that come with the operation of its gas stoves.

Brought by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, the lawsuit says that not disclosing the air pollution levels from the use of its appliances violates the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act.

According to a statement, the education fund is not seeking financial damages, but it is calling for Haier US Appliance Solutions to clearly display necessary health information on products so consumers are better informed both before and after purchase.

"Gas stoves can be harmful to our health when used as directed, but this crucial information is not broadly available to the public," said Abe Scarr, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Energy and Utilities Program Director. "Our testing found results consistent with decades of research documenting health-harming pollution from gas stoves. Consumers have a right to know, and manufacturers are obligated to disclose, these risks."

Indeed, the case for switching a gas stove for an electric one is getting stronger. Stanford University researched the health impacts of using gas and propane stoves indoors, finding that they are possibly responsible for up to 19,000 adult deaths in the United States a year. Meanwhile, the research indicated that up to 200,000 asthma cases among children may be linked to these appliances.

According to the Gas Leaks Project, which created the reality TV spoof "Hot & Toxic" to increase awareness about the dangers of gas stoves, chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide can be released when using gas or propane stoves. 

As the advocacy group detailed, benzene and formaldehyde are cancer-causing toxins, while carbon monoxide has been linked to cardiovascular illness, and nitrogen dioxide can negatively impact lung health.

"There is a substantial body of scientific evidence that gas stoves routinely expose unwitting families to potentially dangerous levels of indoor air pollution," Scarr added. "We all deserve to be made aware of the risks associated with products so we can make informed purchasing decisions and take steps to protect our health."

Technological advances have made electric induction stoves as quick as or quicker than gas stoves at heating pots and pans while cooking. They are also more energy efficient and don't release toxins that would decrease air quality at home. 

Avoiding the creation of planet-warming gases for cooking is just another benefit of switching to electric. Cost-saving and energy efficiency can be improved further if you utilize renewable sources for your domestic power — which can be subsidized via the United States Inflation Reduction Act

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