After a recent study reported that one in eight childhood asthma cases is caused by gas-operated stoves, the internet experienced an explosion of discourse surrounding the appliances, ranging from proposed legislation to ban their use to arguments comparing the pros and cons of electric alternatives.
While the study proves there are good reasons to remove gas stoves from homes, it is rarely easy to replace them. New electric or convection ovens can be pricey, removing and installing the appliances can be a difficult task, and for some renters, it’s simply not an option in their lease agreements.
How to reduce air pollution at home — without removing your gas stove
If you find yourself stuck with a gas stove and you’re concerned about your health, don’t worry — there are things you can do to help mitigate your risk.
When the gas is burning, ventilate the kitchen
Getting fresh, clean air to circulate will go a long way in ensuring harmful particulates are ushered outside your home and not into your lungs.
If your cooking area doesn’t have good air circulation, try turning on a fan or two which can direct the pollution toward cracked windows and doors.
Purchase an air purifier
These devices can help clean out air pollution generated by gas stoves. And while they cannot render a home’s breathing air completely safe, they can still do a good job of mitigating the risk of inhaling unwanted toxins.
Ensure the air purifier you’re considering has the appropriate clean air delivery rate (CADR) for the space you intend to put it in. The higher the CADR rating, the better.
Use alternative appliances
There are several inexpensive kitchen electronics that can effectively remove the need to turn on the gas stove entirely.
For example, hundreds of excellent meals can be prepared with electric teapots, rice cookers, toasters, toaster ovens, air fryers, microwaves, and crock pots. All of these appliances are relatively affordable, especially when compared to the price of a new oven.
And then there are induction cookers, which produce no harmful pollutants and are actually faster than gas stoves.
Many second-hand appliances can be found on places like OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace for cheap.
If you have the option, consider buying a gently-used option, as it helps to keep perfectly good electronics in homes that need them instead of landfills.
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