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A national gas stove ban is not on the table, U.S. consumer safety chief clarifies

Despite what some commissioners may have suggested, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has no plans to ban gas stoves, chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric said Wednesday. "Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards," he said. "But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so." 

President Biden "does not support banning gas stoves," White House spokesman Michael Kikukawa added on Wednesday.

The safety commission "is researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks," as well as "actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves," Hoehn-Saric said. "This is part of our product safety mission — learning about hazards and working to make products safer."

The idea of a gas stove ban was broached by CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. in an interview with Bloomberg News published Monday. The indoor pollution from gas stoves "is a hidden hazard," he said. "Any option is on the table. Products that can't be made safe can be banned." 

Trumka responded to concerns about his comments on Monday afternoon. "To be clear, CPSC isn't coming for anyone's gas stoves. Regulations apply to new products," he tweeted. "For Americans who CHOOSE to switch from gas to electric," there's a federal rebate of up to $840

About 35 percent of U.S. households have gas stoves, and that number is closer to 70 percent in states like California and New Jersey, CBS News reports. Some cooks prefer cooking with gas — and have been encouraged in that preference by the natural gas industry since the 1930s, The Washington Post notes — and while induction stoves are equally responsive and much cleaner and safer to use, they are typically more expensive than gas or traditional electric stoves. 

"There is this misconception that if you want to do fine-dining kind of cooking it has to be done on gas," Trumka told Bloomberg. "It's a carefully manicured myth."

The American Gas Association said a ban on gas stoves, or residential natural gas more generally, would be costly for consumers. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers advises that people using gas stoves turn on the vent hood, crack the windows, or utilize another form of ventilation.