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health dangers of gas cooking?

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Aug 30, 2003
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health dangers of gas cooking?

We are doing a reno and my wife is spooked about the dangers of gas cooking:

https://qz.com/1941254/experts-are-soun ... as-stoves/

Personally I think it's not a big deal with proper ventilation via external exhaust. I personally hate glass top ranges and prefer the design, simplicity, power and durability of a gas range with no electronics.

What do folks think? Is gas really that bad for your health?
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Nov 17, 2012
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When doing a kitchen reno, you should always run both gas and electric to the stove location.

Gas can be dangerous, sure. But your furnace and water heater are burning way more gas than your stove will so if you're going to go electric for safety sake, do the same with your furnace and water heater.

Eventually in a few generations there won't be natural gas distributed to homes anyhow, but in the meantime you're just fine using NG for cooking.

Get a 2nd hand Bluestar open burner gas range and get cooking.
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Unvented, a definite yes. Not for those reasons but I prefer to use the induction module over the gas (can heat a lot faster than gas, and I don't burn my hands either with heat blasting around the sides). Latter only when I run out of space in the induction or need the wok burner. Gas ranges/cooktops can still give problems if there are too many electronic involved (and even if there are not that many...)

Some gas units also have problems with very high minimum gas use (for safety sake) so you can't simmer.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... nt/616700/

FWIW, my kitchen has two powerful extractor fans (to the exterior), dual-fan Vent-a-Hood in addition to the downdraft Faber (so powerful but low that the low pressure it creates sucks gas flames its way.)
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thriftshopper wrote: Unvented, a definite yes. Not for those reasons but I prefer to use the induction module over the gas (can heat a lot faster than gas, and I don't burn my hands either with heat blasting around the sides). Latter only when I run out of space in the induction or need the wok burner. Gas ranges/cooktops can still give problems if there are too many electronic involved (and even if there are not that many...)

Some gas units also have problems with very high minimum gas use (for safety sake) so you can't simmer.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... nt/616700/

FWIW, my kitchen has two powerful extractor fans (to the exterior), dual-fan Vent-a-Hood in addition to the downdraft Faber (so powerful but low that the low pressure it creates sucks gas flames its way.)
Thanks, I wasn't aware of the downdraft I'll check that out as well. I've used induction and like it but I just can't get over the glass top. I really hate the look personally. I've broken one before which I was quoted almost as much as the full cost of the range so I just replaced it.
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Mar 13, 2004
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I did not read the full article but I would not be worried about it. Have a good range above to suck up the smoke and it won't be an issue. i would be more concerned with using pots and pans that have that anti stick coating on it which have been said could lead to cancer and other health issues. Or concerned with not using Organic foods and so on, there are many more things that would be more concerning then using gas to cook with which has been around for years and years. Also keep in mind if the power goes out you cannot cook food at all where with a gas stove you can by lighting the burner with a match, better then starving because you decided to go with electric over something that sounds like not a big deal if proper ventilation is provided.
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rilhouse wrote: Thanks, I wasn't aware of the downdraft I'll check that out as well. I've used induction and like it but I just can't get over the glass top. I really hate the look personally. I've broken one before which I was quoted almost as much as the full cost of the range so I just replaced it.
If you have a downdraft extractor, it might be o.k. if it rises high enough. The one that was in my house rises just 8.5". The newer version rises 14"+.

Just have to be careful with induction. I replaced the IR/halogen 2-burner with the same-size induction module from the same manufacturer. Cost is the same as an average induction range.
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I happened to see this recently, not sure this guy is right or wrong but was interesting to read.


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Don't tell your wife about radon. Second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. I'm not being facetious here.
Okay maybe I am, a bit. Radon is a concern.

If you install a vent hood, it'll be fine.
There's definitely a push against NG appliances on the GHG emissions side of things, which I get. California legislated no NG gas appliances in new residential construction.

My NG furnace probably burns 500 times the gas that I would use with my Blue Star making dinner five times a week over the course of a year.

I want to know how the powers that be are going to pry barbequing, be it propane, NG, or charcoal from the hands of the masses.
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Induction ranges and cooktops emit EMF radiation which may cause cancer ... but the benefits outweigh the risks.
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MrFrugal1 wrote: Don't tell your wife about radon. Second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. I'm not being facetious here.
Okay maybe I am, a bit. Radon is a concern.
That's a biggie if there's any granite under your house (seems it occurs in granite and perhaps other igneous rocks).
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thriftshopper wrote: That's a biggie if there's any granite under your house (seems it occurs in granite and perhaps other igneous rocks).
No necessarily.

I'm in Kingston ON, and sitting on limestone, which has no radon.. However, 80 km north of here in the Sharbot Lake area there is mineable uranium. Glacial action pushed the top soil south, thus high radon levels in the area (including my house).
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thriftshopper wrote: That's a biggie if there's any granite under your house (seems it occurs in granite and perhaps other igneous rocks).
nothing but clay here and at the sump pump i had a reading over 2000 bq/m^3
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
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thriftshopper wrote: If you have a downdraft extractor, it might be o.k. if it rises high enough. The one that was in my house rises just 8.5". The newer version rises 14"+.

Just have to be careful with induction. I replaced the IR/halogen 2-burner with the same-size induction module from the same manufacturer. Cost is the same as an average induction range.
I have an old JennAir Gas range/electric oven and it has a centre downdraft vent....absolutely hate it. There is no "rise" on mine so when I use it it sucks the heat from the cooking area.

Any downdraft is not ideal as water vapor and smells rise so it doesn't do a great job capturing stuff so I discourage anyone from getting one.
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GTA12345 wrote: I happened to see this recently, not sure this guy is right or wrong but was interesting to read.


Thanks that was interesting to read.

That person seems to totally discount ventilation as mitigation for N02 and doesn't (unless I missed it) quote the source or describe what kind of ventilation was installed for their testing. I also already have a gas furnace and water heater. Also I seem to get the feeling that folks are using health scare tactics as the means to get people off gas for environmental reasons. I acknowledge that gas is worse for the environment, but my main concern is health for this decision. I do have young kids, so I want to do what's best for them.
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Lol, all these "studies" are laughable.

I would suggest processed food, deep fried food, sugar laden food, salt saturated food, fast food, booze, sedentary lifestyle, etc...all contribute exponentially more to health conditions.

Cut all that other stuff out first, then worry about your gas range.
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rilhouse wrote: That person seems to totally discount ventilation as mitigation for N02 and doesn't (unless I missed it) quote the source or describe what kind of ventilation was installed for their testing. I also already have a gas furnace and water heater. Also I seem to get the feeling that folks are using health scare tactics as the means to get people off gas for environmental reasons. I acknowledge that gas is worse for the environment, but my main concern is health for this decision. I do have young kids, so I want to do what's best for them.
Gas furnaces and water heaters should, at least in theory, ventilate outside much, much better (and totally) than a cook top. Because of proximity to pollutant source (in a house), the solution may not be dilution.
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Toukolou wrote: Lol, all these "studies" are laughable.

I would suggest processed food, deep fried food, sugar laden food, salt saturated food, fast food, booze, sedentary lifestyle, etc...all contribute exponentially more to health conditions.

Cut all that other stuff out first, then worry about your gas range.
True enough, but I see a lot of people with what must be lung ailments (and who knows if they smoked tobacco or inhaled in oil vapours) and see relatively-young people dying from lung ailments. All worried about fiberglass but don't give a hoot about non-visibles.
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gr8dlr wrote: I have an old JennAir Gas range/electric oven and it has a centre downdraft vent....absolutely hate it. There is no "rise" on mine so when I use it it sucks the heat from the cooking area.

Any downdraft is not ideal as water vapor and smells rise so it doesn't do a great job capturing stuff so I discourage anyone from getting one.
The (relatively) recent trend for downdrafts came about because people wanted to emulate cooking in cooking shows and have island entertainment kitchens, so a wall-mount as out of question, a ceiling mount expensive and has to be huge to work well (not to mention have to hang down), so it was downdrafts as the best cost-effectiveness trade off. I know Jenn-Air had this idea in the '70s if not earlier which may predate all the trend above. The rising downdrafts (or perhaps side drafts) tried to mitigate the fact that hot gasses and vapours rise upward. They also had to increase air throughout (or create low air pressure areas). Using mine in gas mode results in hot spots towards the back and lack of flame up front.
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thriftshopper wrote: True enough, but I see a lot of people with what must be lung ailments (and who knows if they smoked tobacco or inhaled in oil vapours) and see relatively-young people dying from lung ailments. All worried about fiberglass but don't give a hoot about non-visibles.
Your anecdotal evidence doesn't really apply. There are millions upon millions of gas ranges (propane/natural) in use around the world (most are likely not properly ventilated by NA standards either) every day, and for decades. You would think that a direct cause/effect could have been established by now. This issue, as a health concern, comes sooooo far down the list of other things we could do to mitigate health problems, that it seems to be a problem looking for victims.

I'd love to see a single study that has directly linked gas cooking appliances resulting in a health problem. Lots of "could" and "might" and "potentially", but not a single definitive example.

My anecdotal experience, I've know 1 person with a lung condition that died (not from the lung condition) that smoked and lived to 76 and 1 person that has had a lung condition their whole life and never smoked or had a gas range. And I'm 49, I've had the time to meet and know a lot of people.
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Toukolou wrote: Your anecdotal evidence doesn't really apply.
Might not by why take the risk? Just like lead's been removed from gasoline and all sorts of vapour capture devices and catalytic converters have been used to prevent these things from floating about in the air.
My anecdotal experience, I've know 1 person with a lung condition that died (not from the lung condition) that smoked and lived to 76 and 1 person that has had a lung condition their whole life and never smoked or had a gas range. And I'm 49, I've had the time to meet and know a lot of people.
Yes, anecdotally, some people seem to be immune to lung diseases from smoking but the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence says to avoid exposure to these harmful contaminants. A lot of risks cannot be practically reduced or mitigated, so one should just reduce whatever one can (maybe it's an absent straw which hence des not break the proverbial camel's back). Effects may not be now (even for you are 49) but a couple more decades down the road.
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