"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Using a gas stove as if you happen to were living with a smoker

June 16, 2023 – Gas stoves emit the cancer-causing chemical benzene at higher levels than secondhand smoke, in line with a brand new study. Benzene, which has been linked to an increased risk of leukemia and other cancers, can linger in homes at dangerous levels for hours, even with exhaust fans installed above stoves that vent to the outside.

The studyby researchers at Stanford University, adds to the growing body of evidence that natural gas cooking stoves may pose health risks. Study results evaluating benzene levels when using gas and propane stoves were published Thursday within the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Researchers examined benzene levels in 87 homes in California and Colorado when the stove burners were set to their highest temperature or the oven was heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. They found that the benzene levels released were 10 to 25 times higher than those from electric stoves, they usually confirmed that not one of the benzene emissions got here from cooked food. The benzene levels on this latest study were a whole lot of times higher than levels previously determined to be the results of unburned gas entering homes.

“Benzene is produced in flames and other high-temperature environments, such as flares in oil fields and refineries. We now know that benzene is also produced in the flames of gas stoves in our homes,” said researcher Rob Jackson, PhD, professor of Earth system science on the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, in a opinion“Good ventilation helps reduce pollutant concentrations. However, we have found that exhaust fans are often not effective in preventing benzene exposure.”

Researchers found that top concentrations of benzene can travel beyond the kitchen and remain within the kitchen long after cooking is accomplished.

“Benzene generated by gas and propane stoves also migrated throughout the home, in some cases raising bedroom benzene concentrations above chronic disease limits for hours after the stove was turned off,” the authors wrote. “Combustion of gas and propane in stoves may be a significant pathway for benzene exposure and may worsen indoor air quality.”