State legislator introduces new bill to inform consumers of gas stove health risks

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Assemblymember Gail Pellerin introduced legislation Tuesday that would alert consumers about the health risks associated with gas stoves.  Assembly Bill 2513 would require all gas stoves manufactured on or after January 2025 and sold in California to have a warning label detailing the health risks associated with pollutants emitted from gas stoves. 

Gas stove pollution and respiratory problems, including asthma risks, have been studied for more than fifty years, yet lack of education and federal regulations leave consumers largely unaware. 

“When we learn more about everyday appliances that could have harmful impacts on one’s health, it is so important to educate consumers about those harms, said Assemblymember Pellerin. “AB 2513 will make sure that consumers can make a fully-informed purchase or reduce their exposure to harmful gasses emitted from gas stoves and ovens.”

A growing body of evidence on the respiratory and other health risks associated with gas stove pollution has led the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and Physicians for Social Responsibility to raise the alarm, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has recently opened an investigation into the health risks and potential opportunities to mitigate harm. 

Gas stoves emit harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and benzene. Recent Stanford studies found that gas stoves can emit carcinogenic benzene levels above those found in secondhand smoke and nationally, gas stoves have the same climate impact equivalent to 500,000 gasoline-powered cars.

 

A study from the nonprofit group RMI found that 20% of childhood asthma cases in California can be attributed to gas stove use. 

“Patients have the right to know that the fumes from gas stoves can trigger asthma,” said Mary L. Williams, MD, SF Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility Board Member. “As a physician, I can only educate my patients, but labels on appliances would allow every Californian to make an informed choice about their family’s health before purchasing a stove.” 

In December 2022, CALPIRG Education Fund released the results of a consumer survey that found major retailers were largely failing to warn potential customers of gas stove health risks – and safety measures that could protect their health. A national survey published in 2023 found that consumer preferences changed when informed of the health risks associated with gas stove emissions, especially among current gas stove users.

“Consumers deserve the truth when it comes to the dangers of cooking with gas stoves,” said Jenn Engstrom, director of CALPIRG. “The kitchen should be a place of bonding – not a place where our families are exposed to toxic pollution that can make us sick.”

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