A push to remove gas stoves from public housing

December 19, 2022 – Environmental advocates are pushing for the removal of gas stoves—which emit harmful pollutants that may lead to adverse health effects—from federally funded housing.

Experts have urged officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to consider swapping out gas stoves for electric ones when renovating public housing. Gas stoves emit air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide—even when off—at levels that can greatly exceed outdoor air quality standards, according to a December 2 article in Inside Climate News. Roughly 1 million people live in HUD-supported housing. Children, older adults, and people with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk for health problems related to gas stove emissions, such as asthma or cardiovascular diseases.

Gary Adamkiewicz, an associate professor of environmental health and exposure disparities at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who has studied potential health harms in public housing for almost 11 years, was quoted in the article.

“Anytime you burn a fuel, you likely emit pollutants that can affect your health,” he said. “We actually have laws that limit the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air in our cities. And we’ve done studies that have shown that people’s households can exceed these levels within their own homes, basically just by using their gas stove.”

Given that much of the public housing in the U.S. was built 50 to 70 years ago, Adamkiewicz said federal officials have a responsibility to switch to electric stoves.

Read the Inside Climate News article: Citing Health and Climate Concerns, Activists Urge HUD To Remove Gas Stoves From Federally Assisted Housing