Is it unhealthy to cook with a gas stove?
Yes, gas stoves release high levels of harmful pollutants.
More than 40 million households in the U.S. use gas stoves to cook. They might want to reconsider.
There's consistent evidence linking gas cooking to increased risk of asthma in kids. Adults are probably at lower risk, but long-term exposure to pollutants released by gas cooking is tied to respiratory issues including COPD.
What's going on? When gas cooktops or ovens are ignited they release nitrogen oxides, which are a respiratory irritant. The more cooking, the more NOx emissions. NOx concentrations can exceed recommended exposure guidelines within a few minutes of turning the stove on, and can spread throughout the home. While emissions don't vary much by stove age or price point, they're higher on stoves with pilot lights.
Gas stoves also produce more ultrafine particle pollution than electric stoves, which can cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems.
What can you do? If you're stuck with a gas stove, good ventilation can dramatically reduce pollution. Whenever possible, use an exhaust hood.