Cooking with gas is like idling a car in your kitchen

Cooking with gas is like idling a car in your kitchen

This story about the American Gas Association promoting gas cooking via Instagram influencers makes me cringe.

“Every time you ignite a gas stove, you’re filling your home with many of the same pollutants in exhaust from cars—carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and formaldehyde, which are all associated with a range of chronic health problems like respiratory problems and cardiovascular disease.” —Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones

A well-designed and properly-sized ventilation system can capture and extract most of the pollutants but it’s a very rare residential kitchen exhaust fan that meets that description. And if you don’t use it, even the highest-speced extractor does you no good.

Oh but you say the microwave over your gas cooktop has an extract fan in it? First, where is it venting to, exactly? Second, these often have horrible capture efficiency, leaving 80 per cent or more of the pollution in the kitchen. That type of air pollution would be illegal in the US if it were outdoors.

I’ve previously pointed out the dangers of using gas for cooking. You or your clients might think gas cooktops are better than electric, but how much has that opinion been manufactured by gas industry lobbyists? They’ve been running PR campaigns for 90 years.

Try an electric induction cooktop instead.

—Jason Quinn

13 July 2020

Comments 1

  1. Totally agree with this article. I recently completed a new house build, and had been sucked in by gas cooking marketing hype, and initially had a gas cooktop installed. We’re using a Zehnder active ventilation system for heat recapture with a recirculating range-hood with carbon filters. Cooking with the gas resulted in a lingering ‘chemical’ smell for many hours after even with the ventilation system on high. I had the gas cooktop replaced by an induction cooktop which is awesome and I wouldn’t use anything else in the future. Induction cooking is so much better than I ever expected. Expensive lesson learned. Hopefully there are no long-term effects from the few months of exposure to the toxic by-products of gas cooking.

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