In order to do this, Beyond Toxics utilized an air-quality monitor and a FLIR camera, which uses infrared to make the pollution visible.
Shockingly, the nonprofit found that 94% of ventilation hoods were inadequate, with 82% of homes involved in the study having “chronically hazardous levels of nitrogen dioxide [NO2].”
“With the aid of the camera, I was able to see this noxious plume that is dangerous. … You think, ‘Wow, look, I’m eating so healthy.’ But, you know, in the process of preparing that healthy food is also a health concern,” study participant John R. Webster said in the documentary.
Why is this concerning?
More than one-third of homes in the United States have gas stoves, meaning millions of people are being exposed to high levels of NO2 — a planet-warming gas that has been linked to respiratory issues like asthma and environment-harming acid rain.
The burning of gas also releases benzene, as noted in the documentary, which can cause blood cancer and autoimmune disorders.
“It’s a valid argument to look at lead paint and, you know, lead pipes and asbestos. Those were pretty standard building materials for decades … But they were later found to be toxic and eventually have been banned,” Webster added.
What can I do about pollution from gas stoves?
More than 100 local governments in the U.S. have passed laws to promote the installation of electric appliances in new buildings, as reported by Beyond Toxics, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself if getting rid of your gas stove isn’t an option, including buying an air purifier or a HEPA filter.
Opening your windows when cooking will also help clear the air.
While induction stoves are the most ideal option for our health and the environment, with the U.S. Department of Energy also pointing out that they save money and time in the long run, a portable induction burner is a wallet-friendly choice if making a full upgrade isn’t possible.
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