Study: Benzene From Gas Stoves Higher Than in Secondhand Smoke

The pollutant, emitted by gas-burning stoves, is a leading chemical cause of leukemia.

1 minute read

June 26, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Close-up of gas stove with two burners on

SuperWave / Gas stove

As cities and states consider banning gas-powered stoves and appliances, a new study of 87 homes in Colorado and California found high levels of benzene emitted by gas stoves, reports Oliver Milman in The Guardian. “Leaving a single gas hob on for 45 minutes raised benzene levels to above that found in secondhand tobacco smoking, or at the boundary of oil and gas plants, with emissions 10 to 25 times higher than that from electric coil stoves.”

According to Milman, “Even low doses of airborne benzene raise the risk of a variety of cancers, including lymphomas and leukemia, by damaging people’s bone marrow. Elevated levels of benzene can linger for six hours throughout a house or apartment after a gas stove is turned off.”

The study highlights the dangers of indoor air pollutants such as benzene, which are much less regulated than outdoor air pollution. “Joe Biden’s administration has attempted to formulate efficiency standards for new stoves to lower such pollution, with around half of all stoves currently sold likely to fail the proposed safeguards.”

Thursday, June 22, 2023 in The Guardian

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