New report confirms safety of gas cooking in California homes and businesses
‘No adverse health impacts’ from gas cooking;
analysis finds major technical flaws in recent UCLA study alleging connection between gas appliances and worsened indoor air quality.
Cooking using natural gas is safe, a new analysis confirms. Emissions from cooking using natural gas do not represent a health risk and there is no significant difference between cooking with natural gas and electric stoves in terms of indoor air quality, according to a new report released by researchers at Catalyst Environmental Solutions. The report details how a 2020 study from researchers at UCLA inflated the risk of using gas stoves and other appliances through incorrect and misleading comparisons of emissions to established air quality standards.
The new analysis, Issues that Render the Sierra Club/UCLA Study of Effects of Residential Gas Appliances on Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality and Public Health in California Not Useful for Decision-Making Purposes, comes as municipalities and state regulatory agencies have cited the UCLA report to try to restrict consumer access to gas appliances such as stoves and ovens. The new research was sponsored by the California Restaurant Association.
“California chefs rely on gas stoves to grill vegetables, sear meats and create meals of all kinds inspired by cuisines from all over the world,” said Jot Condie, President of the California Restaurant Association. “We are concerned that misleading health claims could lead to the loss of flame cooking, which would dramatically impact restaurants and the work of chefs and cooks, all of whom have endured enough during COVID-19. The CRA believes policy and regulatory decisions should be based on accurate and sound science.”
“In order to make informed decisions, policymakers and regulators must have the most accurate information available to them,” said Dan Tormey, president of Catalyst Environmental Solutions and chief author of the report. “The UCLA study mischaracterizes emissions from gas stoves while advocating for an expensive and burdensome transition to all-electric.”
Key findings from the analysis include:
- The UCLA study’s findings were the result of incorrect comparisons with state and federal air quality standards. Using the same data, Catalyst’s report finds the UCLA study should have concluded that there are no significant adverse health impacts from gas appliances.
- The UCLA report cites, but does not acknowledge, several references that conclude that indoor air quality is influenced more by the act of cooking than whether a natural gas or electric device is used.
- In advocating for desired policy outcomes, the UCLA study does not consider the costly consequences of replacing natural gas with all-electric.
- The results of the UCLA report depend upon a series of assumptions, with many unsupported by previous studies.
- Many of the statements made in the UCLA study are not supported by the data provided or the references cited.