Is your gas stove bad for your health?

Cooks love their gadgets, from countertop slow cookers to instant-read thermometers. Now, there’s increasing interest in magnetic induction cooktops – surfaces that cook much faster than conventional stoves, without igniting a flame or heating an electric coil.

Some of this attention is overdue: Induction has long been popular in Europe and Asia, and it is more energy-efficient than standard stoves. But recent studies have also raised concerns about indoor air emissions from gas stoves.

Academic researchers and agencies such as the California Air Resources Board have reported that gas stoves can release hazardous air pollutants while they’re operating, and even when they’re turned off.

As an environmental health researcher who does work on housing and indoor air, I have participated in studies that measured air pollution in homes and built models to predict how indoor sources would contribute to air pollution in different home types. Here is some perspective on how gas stoves can contribute to indoor air pollution, and whether you should consider shifting away from gas.