A new research has shown a degree of link between cooking with gas indoors and childhood asthma cases in the United States.
The environmental think tank Rocky Mountain Institute led the peer-reviewed study which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
According to the report, 12.7 percent of the sampled asthma population showed direct link to indoor cooking gas, a development that has drawn much reactions from concerned stakeholders.
The study compared the effect of cooking gas on health to that of second-hand smoking.
About 35 percent of American kitchens have gas stovetops, which have higher levels of nitrogen dioxide that have in turn been linked to higher asthma rates, according to reports.
The study’s lead author Talor Gruenwald, a data scientist at electrification advocacy group Rewiring America, said the findings suggested that around 650,000 children in the US “are suffering from asthma who might not otherwise if they weren’t exposed to gas stoves”.
He pointed to a comparable asthma risk from second-hand smoke, telling AFP that “using a gas stove is pretty much like having a smoker living in your home”.
Consequently, stakeholders including the US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm have called for more people in the United States to embrace electric and induction stovetops, while others criticise the study for intending to cut use of household gas.
But the American Gas Association, a lobby group, called the study an “advocacy-based mathematical exercise that doesn’t add any new science”.
It said the study’s “authors conducted no measurements or tests based on real-life appliance usage, emissions rates, or exposures.”
Gruenwald dismissed the lobby’s statement as a “boilerplate response” that did not point to any research that might challenge their findings.
The study used the same method as the 2018 research which attributed 12.3 percent of childhood asthma in Australia to gas stoves.
It used a 2013 meta-analysis of 41 previous studies to determine the risk of asthma for children in homes with gas cooking and combined that information with 2019 census data from nine US states.