Bill informing consumers of gas stove health risks advances

Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Gas stove warning label bill sponsored by Rep. Stava-Murray to inform Illinois consumers about asthma, other health risks of gas stove pollution 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— Legislation that would alert consumers about the health risks associated with gas stoves passed out of the Illinois House Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday. The bill, HB3572 sponsored by state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove, would require all gas stoves manufactured on or after January 1, 2024 and sold in Illinois to have a warning label detailing the asthma risks associated with pollutants emitted from gas stoves. 

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

“This bill is not about restricting people’s choices. On the contrary, it’s about helping them to make the best choices for themselves and their families by ensuring that they have all the facts,” Stava-Murray said. “This is a labeling bill. That’s it. It does not ban gas stoves. It does not prevent anyone from purchasing a gas stove. It does not require existing gas stoves to be modified or removed. What we want is for Illinois consumers to be better empowered to make informed choices.”

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. 

“260,000 children in Illinois live with asthma, a lifelong condition that can keep them home from school, send them to the emergency room, or a hospital stay,” said Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs for Respiratory Health Association. “The dangerous fumes produced by stoves aren’t universally required to be vented outdoors like other gas appliances. As a result, pollutants can  stay in the home and build up to levels that can exceed outdoor air quality standards and trigger breathing problems.” 

More families cook with gas in Illinois than in any other state, and a recent study attributes 21% of childhood asthma cases in Illinois to gas stove pollution.

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

In December, U.S. PIRG 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 January found that consumer preferences changed when informed of the health risks associated with gas stove emissions, especially among current gas stove users.

The legislation has until March 23rd to be approved by the House. 

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