Climate council calls for an end to gas cooktops, concerns over IAQ

Climate council calls for an end to gas cooktops, concerns over IAQ

Australian doctor and contributor to the Climate Council, Dr Kate Charlesworth, has penned an op-ed calling for a move to gas-free cooking over concerns to health.

Dr Charlesworth makes the point that gas cooking in residential homes should go the same way as tobacco and asbestos, and take on board the vast amounts of data that shows the risks to human health of gas cooktops in the home.

She notes that “Unfortunately, we’re now seeing echoes of cover ups and misinformation around gas. The gas industry is keen to downplay the risks and brand their ever-more expensive product as ‘natural’ and ‘harmless’.
Just as doctors spoke up on tobacco and asbestos, we now have a responsibility to sound the alarm on the health risks of gas.

“Gas cooking is a major source of indoor pollution. Burning gas produces a whole range of air pollutants, including carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 0.0025 millimetres in diameter).”

She also explains that NO2 is strongly associated with asthma and says the effects upon a child’s health are comparable to living in a home with household cigarette smoke, citing “Damp housing, gas stoves, and the burden of childhood asthma in Australia.”

The concern also extends to the effect on adults’ hearts and lungs due to the levels of dangerous particulate matter in homes with gas cooktops.

Dr Charlesworth’s op-ed was released to coincide with the Climate Council’s ‘I Quit Gas’ campaign, where the organisation is calling on state and territory governments to provide interest-free loans to assist in moving away from gas cooking for good.

“Policies to help households move from gas-fired to electric-powered appliances will unlock bill savings, while transitioning our national electricity grid from gas to 100% renewable energy prices will send wholesale energy prices plummeting,” she explained.

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