Now we’re cooking with gas

Are these beloved appliances slowly killing us?
Wellness Wire
IN a nutshell
Put on those oven mitts, friends, because today we're tackling a topic that's red hot right now: the potential health effects of gas stoves.
A couple of weeks back, a government official floated the idea of a federal gas stove ban, and emotions have been running high ever since. But what evidence do we have that gas stoves cause more harm than good? We've got answers below.
Also, some other health morsels we'll be serving up:
freshwater fish and forever chemicals: a toxic romance
an electric stove option that might actually be better than gas
actor Tyler James Williams on living with Crohn's disease
your chance to send in tips for cooking on electric stoves
more health stories you need
Stay sharp,
Ginger Wojcik
Newsletter Editor, Healthline
  Written by Ginger Wojcik
January 25, 2023 • 6 min read
How worried should we be about gas stoves?
what's got us buzzing
How worried should we be about gas stoves?
First off, using natural gas-powered appliances undeniably increases levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other pollutants in your home. But is that necessarily a problem for your health? The answer isn't crystal clear, but research from 2018 and 2022 found that a significant percentage of childhood asthma cases could be attributed to gas stove-related pollution. (Though there's been other, less conclusive research as well.)

Ventilation appears to be a key factor here. Cooking with gas in a small, poorly ventilated kitchen (either by not having a range hood or not using it) has been found to create unsafe levels of nitrogen dioxide within minutes. And a 2008 study linked childhood asthma specifically to unvented gas ranges. So if you can't afford to replace your gas range with an electric one, you can still manage air quality by properly ventilating your kitchen while you cook. Here are some tips for making that happen:
  • always turn on the fan in your range hood when cooking
  • install a range hood that vents to the outdoors
  • open a window while cooking
  • install a carbon monoxide detector in your kitchen (and check it regularly)
(Many experts also recommend using an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your kitchen, but keep in mind that HEPA filters can't filter out gaseous pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.)

Lastly, we'd like to gently remind everyone that no one is coming for your gas stove. Even if a federal gas stove ban were implemented — which officials say isn't going to happen anytime soon — the ban would only apply to new buildings. (Also, keep reading to learn about the electric stoves that are just as good as gas stoves.)

tl;dr: Gas stoves increase levels of indoor pollutants, many of which may be hazardous to your health. However, the risk appears to be lower in properly ventilated kitchens. If you don't have a hood range for your gas stove, consider opening a window while you cook. To learn more about gas stoves and your health, click here.
great finds
Editor faves with health perks
You know those great finds you just *have* to tell your friends about? That's how we feel about the products we recommend here. Every pick has been vetted by our editorial team, and we genuinely think it'll make your life better.
Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop
Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop
Yes, it's true. There's a type of electric stove that works better than many gas stoves. Induction ranges and cooktops, which generate heat via a magnetic field, are three times as efficient as those powered by gas. And unlike regular electric stoves, induction heat doesn't take a million years to turn up or down.
Induction ranges are not cheap … like thousands of dollars not cheap. But this induction cooktop from Duxtop won't run you more than $100. You could even buy four to use in lieu of your gas burners for far less than the price of a full-sized range. (Keep in mind you'll also need to buy special cookware with magnetic bottoms for induction cooktops.)
Shop now
say what
Look who's talking
"This one is for the Crohns Patients, the 'hard gainers,' the skinny kids, and those thriving while fighting invisible illnesses. May we all continue to learn how to listen [to] our bodies and treat them better."

Tyler James Williams
In a recent interview with Men's Health, the "Abbott Elementary" actor opened up about living with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory condition that can cause severe digestion issues and other symptoms. Williams talks about life before and after his diagnosis and how he's learned to manage his condition and feel better in his body.
Freshwater fish and forever chemicals: A toxic romance
Wednesday Kickstart
Freshwater fish and forever chemicals: A toxic romance
Those with a penchant for large-mouthed bass, trout, catfish, and other freshwater fish may be getting dangerous doses of PFAS, aka "forever chemicals," according to a new study. The authors found that eating one freshwater fish in the United States exposes you to a month's worth of drinking water contaminated with PFAS.

Oil, heat, and water resistant, forever chemicals are the Keith Richards of synthetic chemicals. Because of their unique durability, they're commonly used in everyday products, such as nonstick cookware, packaging, clothing, and personal care products. They're also associated with a very long list of health issues, including:
liver damage
women's fertility issues
gestational diabetes
So, is it safer to stick to saltwater fish? Maybe. Maybe not. A 2019 study found certain marine fish had similarly high levels of forever chemicals, while a 2014 study from France found pretty much the opposite. (Forever chemicals aside, many species of marine fish contain high levels of mercury, which is toxic.)

Fish is incredibly healthy, nutrient-rich, and delicious. So if you aren't ready to give it up, we get it. However, you might consider sticking to smaller species, like herring, sardines, and anchovies, which generally contain fewer hazardous chemicals due to their diet and shorter life spans. Smaller fish are also more sustainable, as they're less susceptible to overfishing and require fewer resources to live.
health stories you need
What we're reading next
Why we love chocolate, according to science. It's not just because it's delicious. Also, learn how research on the mechanics of eating chocolate may lead to the development of a new melt-in-your-mouth treat.
Parkinson's disease may be related to an unhappy gut microbiome. A large human study found people with Parkinson's disease had more "bad" gut bacteria than people without the condition.
Eating fast food may be dangerous for your liver. If you eat 20% or more of your daily calories from fast food, you may be more at risk of liver disease.
Can you legally cross state lines with abortion pills? Retail pharmacies will soon offer prescription abortion pills. Here's what to know about bringing them from one state to another.
you're up
Buying a vented hood for your gas range may help protect you from pollution. But the fact remains that burning natural gas emits carbon dioxide and therefore contributes to climate change, which poses an imminent threat to the health of pretty much every human on Earth. So purely from a health standpoint, moving to electric stoves (powered by renewable energy) is a logical move.
With that in mind, I'm curious if you all have tips for cooking on electric or induction ranges. Better yet, does anyone actually prefer these non-gas power appliances?
We want to know: What advice would you give an electric stove newbie for not burning everything to a crisp? Do you have any recommendations for buying electric or induction ranges and cooktops? Let us know at (Please note that we may use your name and response in an upcoming edition!)
Thanks for reading! Last week, we asked you all to send in sexual health advice you would give your younger self. Here's wise advice from Wellness Wire reader Linda O.:

Never miss your Pap appointment. It's better to be safe than sorry and [you don't want to] wish you'd gone sooner.
Until next time,
Take care of yourself, and we'll see
you again soon!
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