A recent pilot program in the Bronx showed that switching from gas stoves to electric induction could significantly improve indoor air quality.
The program, run in part by the nonprofit WE ACT for Environmental Justice, involved replacing gas stoves with induction units in 10 out of the 20 apartments within the same building and monitoring the impact the swap had on the air quality in each home, New York-based outlet The City reported.
After a 10-month trial period, the air quality in the households using induction stoves, which run on electricity, was compared to that of the households still using gas stoves, which run on methane gas.
The study results showed that the households with induction ovens had a 35% decrease in daily concentrations of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide and a nearly 43% difference in daily concentrations of carbon monoxide compared to their gas counterparts.
Indoor gas stoves not only leak methane, a potent polluting gas, but they also pose health risks to residents. According to one study conducted late last year, nearly 20% of childhood asthma cases in New York could be prevented if gas stoves were replaced with induction or other stove types.
Bloomberg News also reported that the head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was considering banning gas stoves across the country, although the agency later stated that they were only looking into slight regulation.
During the cooking tests, researchers found that nitrogen dioxide concentrations were nearly three times as high when using a gas stove compared to an induction stove. Nitrogen dioxide concentrations detected in the study kitchens with gas stoves were above levels that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Furthermore, gas boilers and cars nearby also affected the levels of pollutants in the apartments.
Ultimately, the program aims to find pathways to ensure that the transition from gas to electric appliances is affordable and attainable for all populations.
As Sonal Jessel, WE ACT’s director of policy, told The City, “Everyone deserves to live in a healthy home, regardless of your income, and regardless of the kind of housing that you live in.”
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