Booker, Beyer Lead Colleagues in Urging CPSC to Address Dangerous Indoor Air Pollutions Emitted by Gas Stoves
Ahead of the holidays, more than 40 million U.S. homes are at risk of exposure to high levels of indoor air pollution while cooking
U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) urged Alexander Hoehn-Saric, Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), to address the high level of dangerous indoor air pollutants emitted by gas stoves.
Reports have found that gas stoves, which are used by more than 40 million homes across the country, emit dangerous air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Without adequate ventilation, this can cause serious health risks and raise indoor air pollutants to levels that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be unsafe even for the outdoors.
“In addition to the climate impacts, these emissions represent real health risks to millions of Americans. Both NO2 and PM2.5 are known to exacerbate respiratory conditions,” wrote the members of Congress to Alexander Hoehn-Saric, Chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Short-term exposure to NO2 is linked to worsening asthma in children, and long-term exposure has been determined to likely cause the development of asthma. Both pollutants have also been linked to cardiovascular impacts and a range of other adverse health issues. Even low-level CO exposure can exacerbate cardiovascular illness among people with coronary heart disease and other vulnerable populations.”
The members of Congress continued, “These emissions can create a cumulative burden to households that are already more likely to face higher exposure to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. Statistics show that Black, Latino, and low-income households are more likely to experience disproportionate air pollution, either from being more likely to be located near a waste incinerator or coal ash site, or living in smaller homes with poor ventilation, malfunctioning appliances, mold, dust mites, secondhand smoke, lead dust, pests, and other maintenance deficiencies.”
Additionally, the members of Congress urged that the CPSC consider taking the following actions to help protect Americans from the hazards of gas stove emissions:
● Require gas stoves to be sold with range hoods that meet mandatory performance standards, assessing their efficiency of removing the pollutants,
● Where feasible, issue mandatory performance standards for gas stoves that address steady-state-off leakage, including requiring automatic shut-off valves,
● Where feasible, issue mandatory performance standards for gas stoves that address the health impacts of hazardous emissions,
● Require labels on gas stoves that educate consumers about their exposure risks,
● Launch a public education campaign on the health risks of cooking with a gas stove, and steps that consumers can take to minimize their risk.
The letter is cosigned by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernard Sanders (I-VT).
The letter is cosigned by Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), Shontel M. Brown (D-OH), Mark Takano (D-CA), Alan S. Lowenthal (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), André Carson (D-IN), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Gwen S. Moore (D-WI), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), and Katie Porter (D-CA).
The full text of the letter can be viewed here.