Should We Ban Gas Stoves?

A gas stove is on, burning the fuel. Burning the gas has shown to lead to health issues, even after it’s off

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A gas stove is on, burning the fuel. Burning the gas has shown to lead to health issues, even after it’s off

In January 2023, US Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. reignited the debate around gas stoves, citing that 12% of child asthma cases have been related to gas stoves and that it has been shown that gas stoves can release dangerous chemicals. This is in contrast to U.S. President Joe Biden’s stance against the gas stove ban, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

An electric stove is turned off. Electric has different qualities that make it better than gas in some cases (ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

In multiple cities and states, including San Diego, gas stoves have already been banned by governors and mayors. In 2019, Berkeley enacted the first ban in the country that banned gas hookups in newer buildings, meaning new residents wouldn’t have gas stoves. Another study showed the stoves released carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals into the air. 

These chemicals are toxic to the human body and could even kill someone. While people with larger homes may be safer, residents who live in smaller homes will be more likely to be susceptible to the harmful chemicals.

The suggested ban by Trumka won’t take away gas stoves that are already in homes, though, just prevent future homes from having them. Additionally, any ban will not be federal, according to White House spokesman Michael Kikukawa

“The President does not support banning gas stoves,” Kikukawa said. “And the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is independent, is not banning gas stoves.” 

A gas stove is turned off, allowing view of how it looks. Some studies have shown that even while turned off, the chemicals used in the gas leak out.

Still, many people disagree with this decision. Many argue that they are still much more useful than electric stoves, as gas stoves are better at heating up faster and are much more efficient. 

“It’s mostly up to personal preference if you want a gas stove or not, but there is no need for a ban on gas stoves,” sophomore Joaquin Haines said.

Others believe that it should be based on choice if they want to have a gas stove or not and have the option to purchase them in appliance stores. Still, with the health risks that come from gas stoves, some people say it’s time for a change to something like electric stoves.

In 1802, Zachäus Winzler invented the first gas stove, which would go on to revolutionize cooking and home life. But now, some people believe it’s time for change, and to change how we cook things with newer technology today. On the other hand, many people say it’s ridiculous, and that we should keep things the way they are.

In 1891, the Carpenter Electric Heating Manufacturing Company made the first electric stove.

A gas stove sits inside a normal home. Basically every home has one, showing how everyone could be affected by them. (CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication)

However, they were overshadowed by gas stoves because the burners and oven heated up much faster than electric stoves, and were easier to use different cookware. However, with the studies released about more methane and carbon dioxide released from gas stoves, electric stoves were seen as a good alternative. 

Many people have also argued that electric stoves are better than gas stoves because they are much cheaper, have better temperature control, and are more durable in general. The temperature control means that you can tell what the temperature is much quicker than gas stoves, instead of waiting to see the temperature for gas stoves.

Still, the main reason for the ban is because of the safety issues and dangerous chemicals released from many stoves. 

President of the Cooking Club at Sage Creek, Selina Lee, states her opinion on the ban. “If you live in a smaller home like an apartment, then you should not have a gas stove,” Lee stated. “It’s better to know where you get your energy from if you use electric stoves.”

A problem with electric stoves is also the fact that they use up electricity. This can make it harder on some families as it will increase the electric use in people’s households, obviously. However, with the health risks gas stoves give and the benefits of using electric stoves, it is a smaller problem to the bigger picture.

With all of these examples, maybe it really is time for a change. Electric stoves seem to be the more ethical and a better choice overall. However, it is also important for people to have the right to choose; cities should not enact a ban on gas stoves.