Written on: June 27, 2023
From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail
This week NPGA was approached by NPR and the LA Times for comments on Gas and Propane Combustion from Stoves Emits Benzene and Increases Indoor Air Pollution, Kashtan, et.al., published in Environmental Science and Technology. Both NPR and the LA Times reference the statements provided both by NPGA and AGA. The statements NPGA provided to both organizations are below.
NPGA Statement to LA Times, June 20, 2023
Additional study specific information/data, from the authors of the Kashlan et.al. study, are required to draw useful conclusions from the data presented. Data on ventilation rates, test ranges and ovens used, and real-world range and oven use scenarios are not included in the paper. Specifically:
Ventilation rates during data collection are not provided. The study references kitchen range hoods but fails to specify a CFM (cubic feet per minute) rate for the hoods. Most states have guidelines for required kitchen ventilation and it is unknown if these studies met those minimum guidelines. It is also unclear why the authors dismiss ventilation rates as a factor in improving air quality.
Specifics on the model and type of ranges/ovens are not provided. According to the study, ovens as old as 75 years were tested but how many and of what type is not clear.
In the definition of “cooking a meal,” the duration of cooktop/oven use is very high. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2015, the average household in the United States used their gas ranges for cooking approximately 40 minutes per day, less than half the time suggested by the study.
The paper clearly acknowledges on at least 2 occasions that more studies on the use of ranges and ventilation in homes is required. It does not propose that gas stoves are dangerous when used according to local guidelines. There are no facts or data in this study to suggest that a home ventilated in accordance with state regulations and manufacturers’ recommended guidelines would be dangerous.
NPGA recommends consumers operate their gas stoves and ovens pursuant to local building codes and manufacturers’ recommendations to ensure proper use. Propane cooking equipment provides a safe, efficient and extremely cost-effective option for energy consumers.
NPGA Statement to NPR, June 16, 2023
The Kashlan et.al. study fails to analyze real-world environments, conducting its air quality measurements with no stated ventilation rates and burner settings at maximum. The research design does not accurately reflect daily use patterns or the recommended/intended use of gas stoves or ovens. Without specific ventilation rates provided, it is impossible to draw accurate conclusions. Conclusions based on data that are collected without an effort to simulate daily use patterns can create fear, needless worry, and a baseless reactionary response. When cooking indoors, regardless of the energy source, air quality can be managed through numerous measures, including ventilation options such as range hoods or exhaust fans. NPGA recommends consumers operate their gas stoves and ovens pursuant to local building codes and manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure proper use. Propane cooking equipment provides a safe, efficient, and extremely cost-effective option for energy consumers.