Fighting global climate warming and saving money are not the only arguments for replacing gas-powered appliances with all-electric: your gas-powered cooktop and oven may be hazardous to your health.     

Decades of scientific study have shown that gas stoves are a major source of indoor air pollution. Inside a home, the toxins carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide can reach levels that would violate current clean-air standards for outdoor air: nitrogen dioxide in particular can reach concentrations that are 50-400% higher than electric stoves. These indoor pollutants increase risks for many adverse health conditions, including lung and heart disease. Children are especially vulnerable: those living in homes with gas stoves are 42% more likely to suffer asthma than those in homes with electric stoves.     

According to new research from MIT, combustion emissions from the building sector now contribute to the largest share — 37% — of premature deaths associated with air pollution, more than other sectors like transport, industry, and power generation.

Clean-running electric burners, in contrast, are more efficient than gas, with induction burners in particular a staggering three times more efficient. The price of induction ranges is falling as they become more popular, and celebrity chefs rave about their benefits, including more precise control over cooking temperatures and cooler working conditions in commercial kitchens.

For everyone’s health, it’s time to switch to all-electric cooking. We need to mandate that all new buildings be all-electric and rapidly transition existing buildings to all-electric systems, including stoves.

Wendy Greenhouse
Oak Park

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