Report Highlights the Hidden Health Dangers of Gas Ranges

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Woman in front of a gas range
Tatjana Kruusma /

Many die-hard foodies love gas ranges. But testing by Consumer Reports suggests they might be bad for your health.

Research has found that gas ranges emit nitrogen oxides, otherwise known as NOx. Recently, Consumer Reports tested two gas ranges in a controlled setting and found they emitted NOx and other gases.

In a summary of the findings, Ashita Kapoor, CR’s associate director of product safety, says:

“Our tests found NO₂ (nitrogen dioxide) at levels above those recommended by some public health organizations for indoors, particularly when the ranges were used without ventilation and when a burner was set on high. That’s alarming.”

The test measured for the following:

  • NOx
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Particulate matter

The testing did not reveal dangerous levels of carbon monoxide or particulate matter. Oxygen levels also remained in the safe zone.

However, several tests revealed high levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, which is an NOx gas. CR notes that NOx can make asthma and other lung diseases worse. It also may trigger asthma in children.

In the summary of CR’s findings, James Dickerson, CR’s chief scientific officer, says:

“You would never drag your gas grill into your kitchen to make dinner, but in effect, cooking with a gas stove comes with some of those same risks.”

Many cooks love gas ranges. As CR notes, these appliances are lauded for “how responsive they are, that you can use them with different kinds of cookware, and, of course, the look of the real flame.”

On the other hand, environmentalists are less fond of gas ranges, saying they release methane, a greenhouse gas. CR notes that a grant from the Climate Imperative Foundation partially funded this research.

As we previously have reported, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has sounded the alarm about the potential dangers of using gas appliances, including stoves, ovens and water heaters.

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