Gas cooking responsible for certain cases of childhood asthma? This is confirmed by two studies – World



Although gas is promoted as an alternative to coal and wood, especially in developing countries, which are known to be harmful, two recent studies blame gas cooking for about 12% of childhood asthma cases in the US and Europe. The first study, published in December in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, estimates that 12.7% of childhood asthma cases in the United States can be attributed to cooking gas.

“It’s almost like a smoker lives in your house”

“Using a gas stove is like having a smoker living in your house,” lead author Talor Gruenwald told AFP.
This Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) study is based on a meta-analysis of 41 previous studies, along with US census data, and echoes a 2018 Australian study that linked 12.3% of childhood asthma to these stoves. Luckily for the calendar, similar results in Europe were announced on Monday by Clasp, Respire and the European Alliance for Public Health.

Abnormal levels of nitrogen dioxide

The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) has conducted laboratory tests and computer simulations and estimates that 12% of childhood asthma cases in the European Union are linked to this cooking method. The report, commissioned by non-governmental organizations and not published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, concluded that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) maximum limit of 25 micrograms/cubic days 5 days out of 7. meters outdoors. And this in most cases (cooking modes and duration, ventilation, type of housing, etc.). According to WHO, high concentrations of NO2 in homes can cause various respiratory diseases, including asthma.

Experience in 280 European kitchens to confirm results

The Clasp association is conducting experiments in 280 European kitchens, including 40 in France, hoping to confirm these results. But for Tony Renucci, CEO of Respire, these numbers are already “shocking”.
In the US, where about 35% of kitchens run on gas (30% in the EU), this issue has been hotly debated for several weeks. Some, like the US gas lobby AGA, dismissed the results as “nothing new scientifically, just a pure mathematical exercise to promote a cause”.
But for Stanford University’s Rob Jackson, who authored the study on methane pollution from gas furnaces (even when turned off, via leaks), they “confirm dozens of other studies that conclude that breathing indoor gas pollution can cause asthma.

“Insignificant effects compared to electricity”

Daniel Pope, professor of public health at the University of Liverpool (UK), says he is extremely cautious. He believes that the link between asthma and gas stove pollution has not yet been conclusively proven and more research is needed. Leading an ongoing study into the health effects of different fuels, he judges that gas cooking has “negligible effects on all aspects of health – including asthma, compared to electricity”.
For this professor, these publications should not destroy efforts to encourage people to abandon cooking with wood and charcoal, which will kill 3.2 million people a year due to indoor air pollution, mainly in developing countries. A point joined by Brady Seals, director of the Rocky Mountain Institute. “Gas is certainly better than these other methods of cooking,” but it’s “unhealthy” for all that.
The issue is being taken very seriously by US authorities: On Monday, Richard Trumka Jr., head of the Consumer Protection Agency, said new gas stoves are being reviewed.

“All options are on the table. Unsafe products can be banned,” Bloomberg said, assuring on Twitter that he was “not here to come and remove gas stoves from every home.”

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