Md., DC attorneys general warn about dangers of gas stoves, and it’s not just hot air

Nearly a dozen attorneys general nationwide, including in D.C. and Maryland, have signed on to a letter asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission to do more to regulate and warn about the dangers surrounding gas stoves.

The list includes DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb and Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown.

In a 21-page letter, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown and many of their counterparts across the country want the CPSC to regulate an appliance with no regulations.

“Gas stoves (unlike furnaces and water heaters) are not required to meet any voluntary or mandatory safety or performance standards related to emissions, other than requirements related to CO concentrations,” they wrote.

They’re also asking for mandatory standards for ventilation, including an automatic hood that vents to the outdoors, as well as emissions maximums for what they term dangerous pollutants.

“Since there are no voluntary emission standards for gas stoves, the CPSC may either work with industry to adopt voluntary standards or promulgate a mandatory performance standard that would adequately reduce the health risks.”

The argument is that gas stoves emit pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and other particles, that are linked to respiratory illnesses, including cancer. Children, according to their letter, are especially susceptible to illnesses, with kids who live in a home with gas stoves increasing their risk for asthma by 42%.

Lastly, they also asked the CPSC to do more to raise awareness about the health hazards of gas stoves, including a requirement for warning labels.

In the letter, Schwalb also noted that in the coming years, most natural gas use will be outlawed in new buildings around the city.

The D.C. Council is considering legislation to replace all gas appliances, including stoves, with electric appliances at no cost for about 30,000 low- and middle-income households.

Schwalb and Brown were joined by attorneys general in Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the City of New York.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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