(NewsGlobal.com)- Earlier this week, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner said that gas stoves are a “hidden hazard,” but President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he doesn’t support banning the household appliance.
Richard Trumka Jr., the safety commissioner who Biden appointed, told Bloomberg during an interview that “any option is on the table” for regulating gas stoves. He said:
“Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”
Other options that he listed were “setting standards on emissions from the appliances.”
A few days after that interview was published, Biden said he wouldn’t support a ban of gas stoves at all. A spokesperson for the White House said flatly:
“The president does not support banning gas stoves — and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is independent, is not banning gas stoves.”
A study from December of last year that was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health said indoor gas stoves are associated with an increased risk of asthma in children. According to the study, nearly 13% of all childhood asthma cases in the United States could be attributed to the usage of gas stoves.
Some lawmakers in Washington also argued recently that lower-income households as well as Latinos and Blacks are more likely to be affected by this. Their argument was that these people were more likely to live in a home that has poor ventilation, or near a coal ash site or waste incinerator.
Back in October, Trumka actually recommended that the commission he serves on seek public about the hazards that gas stoves cause.
The chair of the commission, Alexander Hoehn-Saric, did clarify the statements that Trumka made, saying the group is “not looking to ban gas stoves, and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”
“CPSC is researching gas emissions in stoves and exploring new ways to address health risks. CPSC also is actively engaged in strengthening voluntary safety standards for gas stoves. And later this spring, we will be asking the public to provide us with information about gas stove emissions and potential solutions for reducing any associated risks.”
Trumka himself clarified the “CPSC isn’t coming for anyone’s gas stoves,” and that any “regulations apply to new products.”
Trumka seems to be the one commissioner who has a target on gas stoves. In Octoer, he proposed directing staff at the agency to begin rulemaking to regulate the appliance.
He said that there wasn’t enough support for his proposal when he put it forth, and so he withdrew it. The commissioners ultimately agreed “to obtain public input on hazards associated with gas stoves.”
In the U.S., 35% of all households have a gas stove as the main appliance. In New Jersey and California, those numbers are much higher, around 70%.
Some studies have concluded that gas stoves emit harmful gases that can cause damage to people if there isn’t proper ventilation in a home.