Air Quality: Gas Stoves
Image: UNC CEHS COEC
Big idea: Nitrogen dioxide from unvented gas stoves, heaters, and cars worsens asthma.
- In addition to wildfires and traffic, use of gas stoves, particularly those without a working exhaust fan overhead, can negatively affect lung health. Over one-third of all US homes use gas cooking stoves, which can release nitrogen dioxide.
- Nitrogen dioxide is a gas that can diminish lung function and cause respiratory infections.
- 39% of US homes have gas stoves.
- Indoor exposure to nitrogen dioxide has been shown to worsen asthma among children. In a study of more than 1,300 children in the northeastern US, researchers found that exposure to nitrogen dioxide increased asthma severity and dependence upon rescue medicine.
- Nitrogen dioxide is not only emitted by gas stoves; it also comes from tailpipes of cars.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), page updated 2014.
Belanger et al, 2013. Household levels of nitrogen dioxide and pediatric asthma severity.
Favarato, Graziella, et al, 2014. Traffic-related pollution and asthma prevalence in children. Quantification of associations with nitrogen dioxide.
US Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey. Released February 2017.