Gas Stoves Aren't Banned—But They Do Pose Real Health Risks

gas stove and burner

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Amelia Manley / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Federal commissioner Rich Trumka, Jr., with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is considering a ban on gas stoves in the United States due to concerns over consumer health and safety.
  • The CPSC clarified in a statement that the agency has not proposed any regulatory action on gas stoves at this time.
  • While there have been no formal recommendations or bans on gas stoves from the CPSC, health experts say there are health risks associated with using the appliance—including exposure to pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and methane.

Despite what you may have heard, gas stoves aren’t going anywhere.

Headlines about a ban on gas stoves from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) neglect to mention one thing: The idea of a ban came informally from one commissioner, and the agency has no plans on the horizon to propose a gas stove ban.

The CPSC does, however, plan to monitor their impact on your health.

“To be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” Alexander Hoehn-Saric, CPSC Chair, told Verywell in a statement. “The CPSC is researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address any health risks.”

He added the agency is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards and is actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves. Because while they’re not banned, they’re still not great for your health.

Why Are We Worried About Gas Stoves?

On Monday, a CPSC commissioner took to Twitter to suggest regulating gas stoves in the U.S., citing increasing concerns over harmful indoor air pollutants emitted by the appliances.

“Gas stoves can emit dangerous levels of toxic chemicals—even when not in use—and @USCPSC will consider all approaches to regulation," commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr., wrote in a tweet.

Trumka also called gas stoves a “hidden hazard” in an interview with Bloomberg News published the same day, and said any option could be on the table to regulate the appliances.

“Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” he said. “Besides barring the manufacture or import of gas stoves, options include setting standards on emissions from the appliances.”

However, in a statement sent to Verywell, CPSC press secretary Patty Davis said the agency has not proposed any regulatory action on gas stoves at this time, and that any regulatory action by the Commission would involve “a lengthy process.”

“Agency staff plans to start gathering data and perspectives from the public on potential hazards associated with gas stoves, and proposed solutions to those hazards later this year,” the statement said. “Commission staff also continues to work with voluntary standards organizations to examine gas stove emissions and address potential hazards.”

Trumka later clarified in a tweet that the CPSC “isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves,” and that any new regulations put into place would only “apply to new products.”

How Many Households Have Gas Stoves?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), nearly 40% of American households—about 40 million homes—still use gas stoves for cooking. In addition, California (70%) and New Jersey (69%) are the two states where households are the most likely to still use natural gas for cooking.

Potential Health Risks of Gas Stoves 

While no recommendation or ban has been put into place by the CPSC regarding gas stoves, experts say there are health risks associated with using the appliances. 

Burning gas indoors produces a mixture of harmful air pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

NO2 is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in outdoor air, but has been given much less attention indoors, Josiah Kephart, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University, told Verywell in an email.

“Breathing high levels of NO2 irritates the airways of your respiratory system and can trigger respiratory symptoms,” Kephart said. “Long-term exposure to NO2 can lead to chronic inflammation that contributes to the development of disease in your lungs, heart, and other organs.”

Gas stoves can also emit other indoor pollutants such as carbon monoxide, fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), and methane, which can affect an individual’s overall health and wellbeing, Robert Glatter, MD, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Verywell in an email. 

“Black, Latino, and lower-income households are disproportionately affected by these effects,” Glatter said, explaining these groups are more likely to live in close proximity to outdoor air pollution sources or in a home with poor ventilation.

Even when a gas stove is off, it can leak small quantities of natural gas, which is mostly composed of methane. According to Glatter, this can exacerbate the progression of coronary artery disease, chronic lung disease, and even contribute to cancer.

Asthma Is a Top Concern

Because of their ability to irritate the respiratory system when inhaled, indoor air pollutants are especially harmful to children and older adults, including those with asthma.

A recent study found that almost 13% of current childhood asthma cases in the U.S. can be linked to the use of a gas stove. In some states where gas stove use is higher, like Illinois, California, and New York, that number is closer to 20%.

“Our research also found that almost 43% of homes with children cook with gas, which affects children’s exposure to gas stove pollution,” study coauthor Brady Seals told Verywell.

Seals, who serves as a manager in the carbon-free buildings program at the nonprofit clean energy group RMI, explained that indoor gas cooking produces a similar level of asthma risk for children as secondhand smoke exposure.

What to Do if You Have a Gas Stove 

Short of replacing your gas stove out of caution, you can run your stove’s vent.

Eric Lebel, PhD, a senior scientist at the nonprofit research institute PSE Health Energy, told Verywell it’s important to use the vent each time you cook, regardless of what you’re cooking.

If you don’t have a vent or if the vent blows the air back into the kitchen, the next best thing is to open a nearby window or put a fan in the window.

“Increasing the ventilation will help to reduce some of the concentrations of pollutants that can build up while using the stove,” Lebel said.

Even if you don’t have an electric stove, electric appliances like crockpots, tea kettles, air fryers, and countertop induction units can be used in place of a gas stove.

Glatter is a bigger proponent of making the switch to an electric stove when you can, especially if you have young children or someone in your household is living with a chronic condition.

“Homeowners should strongly consider replacing gas stoves with electric stoves, not only for the sake of the health of their children and their families, but for the health of our planet in general,” he said. “It’s about an investment in future generations and reducing our overall carbon footprint.”

If homeowners cannot afford to upgrade their gas appliances to electric ones, Kephart said the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides major financial support, like rebates and credits, for households who do make the swap—up to $840 for a new electric cooking appliance.

What This Means For You

While there are no existing bans or regulations on gas stoves in the United States from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, health experts say if you have a gas stove, you may want to consider replacing it with an electric stove. Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, households can apply for a rebate or credit through their state to replace gas appliances with electric ones. 

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2020, most U.S. households prepared at least one hot meal a day at home.

  2. Environmental Protection Agency. Setting and reviewing standards to control NO2 pollution,

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nitrogen dioxide.

  4. Gruenwald T, Seals BA, Knibbs LD, Hosgood HD III. Population attributable fraction of gas stoves and childhood asthma in the United States. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023;20(1):75. doi:10.3390/ijerph20010075

By Alyssa Hui
Alyssa Hui is a St. Louis-based health and science news writer. She was the 2020 recipient of the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association Jack Shelley Award.