Thursday, December 08, 2022

Eco News | If You’ve Been Cooking With Gas, It’s Maybe Time To Rethink

The FOSSIL fuel industries had a coup several years ago by using the term “natural gas” more broadly. It is not “natural”, but highly toxic, highly polluting methane that threatens our health, especially children, and the future of our planet every step of the way. Cooking with a gas stove releases the same toxic mixture of fumes as car exhaust. If those fumes are not exhaled, they linger and enter our lungs. On the air quality front, the evidence against gas stoves is damning. Cooking any food produces particulate pollutants, but burning the gas produces nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, and carbon dioxide. Exposure to air with high concentrations of NO2 can cause coughing, wheezing, and worsening of asthma and other lung conditions. There is also some evidence that prolonged exposure causes certain lung diseases. Children are especially at risk. They breathe more rapidly than adults, have a higher ratio of lung surface area to body weight, and have immature respiratory and immune systems. Homes with gas stoves can have up to 400 percent higher concentrations of NO2 than homes with electric stoves, often resulting in indoor air pollution levels that would be illegal outside. NO2 is invisible and odorless, which is one of the reasons why it has gone unnoticed. There is no indoor air quality benchmark in Australia. Canada and California have set limits, and now they’re leading the charge to move to an all-electric building code. In Australia, the Act is mandating all new housing developments to be all electric, excluding gas, and providing incentives for existing dwellings to stop using gas. If a gas stove is used, it should have an externally ventilated exhaust fan, and always have adequate ventilation with an open window. Modern electric stoves, induction cooktops, reverse cycle heating and cooling are very efficient, with electricity preferably from renewable sources. If you are building a new house, make it completely electric. If you have a gas stove, plan to replace it. If you cannot change, ensure adequate ventilation. If you have an older internally flowing gas space heater, don’t use it, and replace your gas hot water in the heat exchanger. Source your electricity from renewable energy; Install home solar. Bathurst, like the Act, mandated that all new homes and housing estates be gas-free, all electric. Leave the gas where it is – under the ground.


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