Energy & Environment

Consumer safety board to weigh regulations on gas stoves

Gas stove.

The U.S. agency in charge of making sure the country’s consumer products are safe will weigh regulations on new gas stoves, one of the board’s commissioners said on Wednesday.

Richard Trumka Jr., a commissioner on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), said during a virtual webinar on Wednesday that the commission will put out a formal request by March for information on hazards associated with gas stoves and possible solutions. 

“This public request for information is the first step in what could be a long journey toward regulating gas stoves,” he said. 

 But he added that the process could be sped up with enough public pressure. 

“We could get a regulation on the books before this time next year,” he said. 

Trumka, who is the son of the late labor organizer of the same name, called an outright ban on new gas stoves “a real possibility.”

The commissioner cited pollution that comes from the stoves while discussing potential regulations for a webinar hosted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, an environmental and consumer advocacy organization. 

Recent studies have found that gas stoves can emit substances that are harmful to human health

Richard Meyer, vice president of energy markets, analysis and standards at the American Gas Association, told The Hill in a written statement that the organization is “eager” to submit information “related to the safety of gas cooking appliances and ways to reduce cooking process emissions.”

The request for information is also highlighted in minutes from a CPSC meeting from late October, but did not appear to garner significant public attention at that time. 

The minutes say commission staff will prepare a document seeking public input on “hazards associated with gas stoves” and “proposed solutions.”

The commission’s chair and two other commissioners are Biden nominees, while one commissioner is a Trump nominee.

Public Interest Research Group environment campaigns director Matt Casale said that such a standard could have significant public health benefits. 

“It could mean better indoor air quality, which could mean fewer instances of childhood asthma, fewer flare ups of childhood asthma, fewer missed school days, fewer missed work days,” Casale told The Hill. 

He added that regulations may also have secondary benefits in terms of climate change, but that the main focus would be air quality. 

This story was updated at 5:24 p.m.

Tags Richard Trumka Jr.

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