TexPIRG urges Best Buy to protect consumer health with adequate gas stoves labeling
Consumer group seeks to educate the public on the health impacts associated with gas cooking
TexPIRG Education Fund
AUSTIN — The typical gas stove, when not properly vented, can produce air pollution levels indoors that exceed outdoor air standards. Yet millions across the country rely on gas stoves for cooking. Studies show that many households don’t have exhaust hoods or don’t use them regularly, meaning their stoves are not vented appropriately. A large part of the problem is that retailers don’t provide adequate warnings to inform consumers of the dangers or need for ventilation.
To address this problem, TexPIRG Education Fund has launched a new campaign calling on Best Buy to take a leadership role in the industry, and better educate consumers shopping for new stoves. As the third largest appliance retailer in the U.S. with nearly 1,000 store locations nationwide, the company has a large reach. By placing warning labels on gas stoves, Best Buy could dramatically raise public awareness and help Americans avoid indoor air pollution.
“Especially when it comes to a costly, long-term decision like purchasing a kitchen appliance, consumers deserve to have all the information that’s out there,” said Adam Altmejd, TexPIRG Education Fund campaign associate. “Cooking with gas stoves often emits harmful, unvented pollution directly into American homes. Retailers, like Best Buy, have a responsibility to their customers to warn them of the potential dangers and health impacts of gas stoves sold in their stores.”
Burning gas for cooking releases carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), formaldehyde and particulate matter into the home. Running a stove for as little as one hour can lead to concentrations of these unsafe pollutants that far exceed health-based standards. Exposure to these pollutants can cause asthma to develop, especially in children, and worsen symptoms for people with preexisting respiratory illnesses.
“There are ways that families can protect themselves from the potential health impacts of gas stoves, like using proper ventilation while cooking, or switching to safer electric or induction alternatives,” said Altmejd. “But first, they need to be aware that these solutions exist.”
TexPIRG Education Fund’s new campaign asserts that Best Buy should place warning labels on gas stoves that describe the health risks of combusting gas indoors without proper ventilation, as well as educate their sales force to be able to talk about the issue with customers.
The campaign also calls on Best Buy to adjust their marketing material to emphasize the benefits of electric and induction cooktops. Cooking with electric and induction technology offers a healthier, safer, more energy efficient and potentially better environmental choice for consumers, as electric and induction cooktops are compatible with renewable energy. This would also help accomplish Best Buy’s goal to help their customers reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2030.
“Best Buy is a trusted brand built on introducing their customers to the best and newest technology. It makes sense for the country’s third largest retailer to take the lead on educating the public on health dangers posed by gas stoves. Americans deserve to be given crucial information about the health and climate impacts of products before they bring them into their homes,” concluded Altmejd.