• Gas cooking is an affordable and preferred technology used in 40 percent of U.S. homes and 15 percent of Canadian homes.
• All cooking products, including gas ranges and cooktops, meet or exceed current safety standards and building code requirements.
• All cooking, regardless of the method, emits pollutants. AHAM is leading efforts to address cooking-related indoor air quality concerns, including revising consensus standards as required.
• Effective ventilation is key to enhancing indoor air quality. Recent building code updates have focused on improving ventilation in newer homes, which are constructed to be more airtight than older homes.
Gas cooking is a safe and affordable cooking method currently used in approximately 40 percent of U.S. households (about 50 million homes). Many home and professional chefs value gas cooking for its speed and control. Consumers in the U.S. are fortunate to have a variety of cooking options available and they can rest easy knowing that all ranges and cooktops, whether gas or electric, meet or exceed approved safety standards and building codes.
Recent discussion by media and public officials surrounding gas cooking has focused on the potential that gas cooking products could be banned or heavily regulated by the federal government in safety or energy standards. This is motivated by the larger debate on electrification of appliances and other products, as well as concerns about cooking’s effects on indoor air quality. While CPSC officials have reassured consumers that a gas ban is not on the table, AHAM is equally concerned about the possibility that overregulation, through newly proposed energy standards or other regulation, could make it effectively impossible to market or purchase the current full range of gas cooking products.
All cooking—whether gas or electric—emits pollutants, and the vast majority of indoor air quality issues associated with cooking can be effectively addressed through ventilation. As homes have become more tightly constructed, the need has grown for specific steps aimed at improving ventilation. That’s why building codes have long required mechanical ventilation and external cooking exhaust in newly constructed more airtight homes. This is just one of many solutions that can improve indoor air quality while cooking.
Other solutions are already being developed. For more than a year, AHAM has co-chaired a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission task force aimed at improving consensus safety standards in response to questions over gas cooking’s effect on indoor air quality. The task force also includes public health officials from the U.S. and Canada and advocacy NGO’s. AHAM is a contributor to the development of standards to improve range hood capture efficiency and is developing a separate standard for NO2 pollutants associated with cooking. Improvements in safety standards would be incorporated into future building code updates. Building code compliance is mandatory not voluntary. It is critical that all revisions to standards and building codes be based on sound science and thorough research and testing.
The home appliance industry designs products that are as safe as they are useful. AHAM is committed to preserving an environment that allows for choice and innovation in cooking.