• Home Home

Research finds common household appliance is spewing car-exhaust-like pollution indoors: 'We can't ignore these ... anymore'

"You would not use a diesel engine exhaust pipe as an air supply to your kitchen."

Evidence is mounting that this kitchen appliance is actually more trouble than it is worth.

Photo Credit: iStock

The gas stove was once a coveted kitchen appliance, but evidence is mounting that it actually causes more trouble than it is worth.

What's happening? 

According to research from Purdue University, published in the PNAS Nexus journal and summarized by Phys.org, gas stoves release tiny airborne nanoparticles that can easily enter human lungs and spread to other vital organs.

Measuring just 1 to 3 nanometers, these particles are imperceptible but can lead to an increased risk of asthma or respiratory problems, particularly among children. 

The researchers found that the 10 quadrillion nanocluster aerosol particles released per kilogram of cooking fuel totals either the same or more than what would be produced by dirty-fuel-powered cars.

"You would not use a diesel engine exhaust pipe as an air supply to your kitchen," Nusrat Jung, a Purdue assistant professor of civil engineering, told Phys.org.

The researchers built a tiny home to use as a laboratory for the particle-release experiments and used sensors to detect air quality. The data was collected following "realistic" cooking processes.

"After observing such high concentrations of nanocluster aerosol during gas cooking, we can't ignore these nano-sized particles anymore," research leader Brandon Boor, an associate professor in Purdue's Lyles School of Civil Engineering, said

Why is this so concerning?

While studies have shown the damage that aerosol pollutants from gas stoves can do — with chemicals like benzene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde among those released into the home — the comparison to breathing in fumes similar to or worse than those produced by gas-guzzling cars is striking. 

Previous research has revealed that indoor air quality in unventilated homes with gas stoves can be significantly worse than air quality outside. According to the World Health Organization, indoor household air pollution has been linked to strokes, heart disease, and lung cancer, among other diseases. 

But the gas industry apparently doesn't want you to know that, with a report from the Public Health Law Center detailing how similar acts of deception used in tobacco campaigns are being adopted to convince people that gas stoves are safe. 

🗣️ Which of these factors would most effectively motivate you to buy an induction stove?

🔘 Healthier indoor air 🏠

🔘 Superior cooking results 🍳

🔘 Helping the planet 🌎

🔘 I wouldn't buy an induction stove 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

What can be done about nanoparticle pollution?

If you're still clinging on to your gas stove — despite the potential health risks and the fact they release planet-warming gases — the Purdue researchers suggested using a kitchen exhaust fan while cooking to reduce nanoparticle exposure. 

However, electric induction stoves can cook food faster and are easier to clean, while also being much kinder to your health and the planet. Furthermore, if the power you're using to run the stove is from renewable sources like solar, the environmental benefits increase.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider