Gas stoves may be bad for your health, Consumer Reports tests show

Tests show high levels of potentially dangerous nitrogen oxide gases

Gas or electric? Given the choice, many professional chefs and home cooks choose gas cooktops. But that choice could come with some health risks.

Gas or electric? Given the choice, many professional chefs and home cooks choose gas cooktops. But that choice could come with some health risks.

Consumer Reports just conducted a series of emissions tests on gas ranges and found levels of nitrogen oxides at more than double the standard for outdoor air set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Nitrogen oxides are pollutants more typically associated with outdoor sources like power plants and cars and trucks,” said Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope. “But new studies suggest that gas ranges can actually produce these emissions inside your home.”

The gases can worsen asthma and other lung diseases, and may increase the risk of asthma in children.

“These gases are more potent as far as acute toxicity and are more likely to cause problems even in the short time frame that people typically take while preparing a meal,” Hope said.

If you own a gas range, ventilation is important. A range hood is best. Turn it on every time you’re cooking, Consumer Reports suggests. And if you don’t have a range hood, open the windows and doors and use a fan to help the gases dissipate.

“If you’re shopping for a new range, you definitely want to consider electric or induction models,” Hope said. “These aren’t the electric ranges you remember, and many pro chefs are even using induction models. They’re about twice as efficient as gas ranges without any of the harmful emissions.”

The Frigidaire Gallery GCRI3058AF Range for $1,160 costs thousands less than other recommended induction ranges in Consumer Reports’ tests. It offers excellent cooktop performance and is also very good for baking.

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About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.