PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County health officials are warning that gas appliances can have major health impacts, with a recent report finding that children living in homes with gas stoves are more likely to experience asthma symptoms.
In a release on Thursday, the Multnomah County Health Department urged people to consider swapping out their gas stoves and other gas-burning appliances with electric alternatives when it comes time to replace them.
According to the report, gas stoves release 50% to over 400% higher levels of nitrogen dioxide than homes with electric stoves. In addition to gas stoves contributing to asthma symptoms, health officials say children exposed to gas stoves are 24% more likely to develop lifetime asthma.
“Our review of the most recent scientific literature found conclusively that gas stoves are a health hazard — especially for children with growing lungs. To protect against pollution-driven respiratory problems, we recommend a transition away from combusting appliances in favor of healthy electric alternatives whenever possible,” said Nadège Dubuisson, the lead author of the report.
The Multnomah County Health Department says one in ten adults in the county has been diagnosed with asthma.
In an effort to transition households to electric stoves, county residents will be incentivized to replace their gas appliances starting in 2023. The incentives include up to $8,000 per household for an electric heat pump, $1,750 for a heat pump water heater, and $840 for an electric stove.
For those that can’t make the switch to electric, it’s recommended they try to limit their use of a gas stove, and when they do cook use the back burners and increase airflow by either opening a window or using a range hood.