(BETHESDA, Md.) — The chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Wednesday that the agency has no plans to ban gas stoves after another commissioner’s remarks ignited a political firestorm.
“Over the past several days, there has been a lot of attention paid to gas stove emissions and to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards. But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric said in a statement.
He said the CPSC is researching ways to address the health risks of gas appliances.
“This spring, we will be asking the public to provide us with information about gas stove emissions and potential solutions for reducing any associated risks. This is part of our product safety mission – learning about hazards and working to make products safer,” Hoehn-Saric added.
Federal safety regulators said Tuesday that they plan later this year to begin gathering “data and perspectives” on the “potential hazards associated with gas stoves,” before the CPSC clarified that it has not proposed any regulatory action on the appliances at this time.
Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg News in an interview published Monday that the stoves were “a hidden hazard” and “any option is on the table.”
“Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” Trumka said.
New regulation on the appliances would only apply to new products, Trumka later wrote in a tweet.
“My guiding duty is protecting consumer health and safety. Gas stoves can emit dangerous levels of toxic chemicals – even when not in use,” he wrote.
In its statement, the CPSC said regulatory action “would involve a lengthy process,” including public input. “Commission staff also continues to work with voluntary standards organizations to examine gas stove emissions and address potential hazards,” the agency said.
Some studies show an association between gas cooking and a higher risk of asthma in children. Other studies in adults haven’t shown this increased risk. However, experts agree that anyone who lives in a home with a gas stove — particularly in small apartments — can take steps to lower the risk, including using a hood vent while cooking or opening windows.
The potential for increased regulation drew criticism from some lawmakers and industry groups.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, reacted to the news by saying, “It’s clear President Biden prioritizes his radical energy policies over the needs of the American people.”
Sen. Joe Machin, D-W.Va., said in a statement that his gas stove would be the last thing to “ever leave my house,” adding, “If this is the greatest concern that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has for American consumers, I think we need to reevaluate the commission.”
The American Gas Association (AGA), a trade group for local energy companies, argued a ban would place “significant costs” on consumers.
“Any efforts to ban highly efficient natural gas stoves should raise alarm bells for the 187 million Americans who depend on this essential fuel every day,” the AGA said in a statement.
ABC News’ Anne Flaherty, John Parkinson, Sony Salzman and Trish Turner contributed to this report.
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