Gas stoves are a health hazard

Doctors and environmental lobby groups are calling on the Legault government to ban gas stoves because of the health risks.

A study a few days ago Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health The gas stove controversy added fuel to the flames. We learn that 12.7% of asthma cases in children in the US are related to these devices.

“It doesn’t cause asthma, but it helps,” says Patricia Clermont, coordinator of the Quebec Association of Doctors for the Environment (AQME). It’s not just combustion-related emissions, he adds. Pollutants are released even when devices are turned off.

“Already in 2013, a meta-analysis indicated that children living in a home equipped with a gas stove were 42% more likely to experience asthma symptoms, which is a lot,” he said.

AQME, which brings together several hundred doctors and six organizations including Greenpeace and Écohabitation, is therefore asking the government to adopt a rule banning the connection of any gas equipment (including stoves and fireplaces) in new buildings. .

expelled by the cities

In recent years, several American cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, have passed such laws. Last fall, California became the first US state to pass a law banning the sale of gas-fired heating equipment by 2030.

The Canadian Association of Environmental Physicians, of which AQME is a member, requests the same.

ACME President Dr. “One in eight childhood asthma cases in the United States is due to indoor air pollution from gas furnaces,” Melissa Lem tweeted. If that’s not enough motivation to vent gas from buildings and homes […] I wonder what that is in Canada. »

Incorrect information provided

AQME adds that it is not normal for gas producers, sellers and distributors such as Énergir not to better inform the public about the risks.

“The effects are minimized and consumers feel cheated when they find out,” adds Ms. Clermont.

The group “demands the creation of a parliamentary commission to shed light on what gas distributors know.”

Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace said: “It is scandalous to know that 30 years of research has been carried out presenting the risks and playing with people’s health.”

Énergir accepts “concerns”.

While stressing the benefits of gas stoves, Quebec’s main natural gas distributor admits there are “concerns” about nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions from burning natural gas from these devices.

” [Énergir] does not sell or promote natural gas stoves,” the company insists in an email to media adviser Elaine Arsenault. Introduction.

However, we can read an article from 2019 on the distributor’s website that says “a natural gas stove will be a great partner in your best cooking” or even “you can never cook with a natural gas stove. It was so nice!”

Énergir replies to the person who thanks for the advice and wants to buy this type of device in the comments section: “It makes us happy! “.

Another text describes commercial ovens as “ideal and indispensable.” These articles do not address health risks.

Adequate ventilation

Énergir said it recommends “good practices” for its customers to adopt. “To avoid any potential health effects, it is important to have an effective hood that not only filters but also evacuates the molecules (CO2, CO and NO2) and with high air flow,” we explain.

This “allows for a significant reduction of all pollutants resulting from combustion. »

“When new natural gas appliances are installed, inspections are done by technicians to ensure everything is in order,” says Ms. Arsenault.

Adequate ventilation is necessary regardless of the energy source, he adds, but “electricity remains the best energy source to completely eliminate these emissions.”

It is little used here

Although Énergir acknowledges the “concerns” raised by the American studies, it points out that electricity is used more in Quebec.

AQME’s Patricia Clermont agrees that gas stoves are more used by our neighbors, but they are gaining popularity here.

Gazifère, the gas distributor, says the safety of customers and employees is a priority. “We were informed about this study last week and read it with great interest,” they said.

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