Study: Gas stoves linked to childhood asthma in Mass.

The percentage of children that get asthma from gas stoves is higher in Massachusetts than nationally, researchers found.

In this photo illustration a gas flame burns under a pot on a gas stove top. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Massachusetts parents may want to explore different stove options in their homes. 

A new study has found that gas stoves cause 15.4% of childhood asthma cases in Massachusetts. The peer-reviewed study was co-authored by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on sustainability. 

Researchers found that the percentage of children that get asthma from gas stoves is higher in Massachusetts than nationally. About 12.7% of current childhood asthma in the U.S. is attributable to gas stove use, according to the study. 

While the percentage of childhood asthma from gas stove use in Massachusetts is relatively high, a few other states have it worse, according to the study. Researchers found that 21.1% of childhood asthma cases in Illinois are due to gas stove use, compared to 20.1% in California and 18.8% in New York. 


The findings are “yet more evidence of why we need our regulators and our policymakers to be protecting us from these consumer products,” Brady Seals, a manager at RMI, told The Boston Globe.

A few states had a lower percentage of children with asthma caused by gas stove use than the national average. Texas, Colorado, and Ohio all had percentages around 10%. At 3%, Florida had the lowest percentage. 

“States with a higher percentage of children living in households with gas stoves have higher proportions of current childhood asthma attributable to gas stove usage,” the authors wrote in the study. 

In Illinois, about 79.1% of households with children cook with gas, while only about 9.1% of households with children in Florida use gas stoves, according to the study. 

“There’s about 50 years of health studies that show a relationship between health impacts like childhood asthma and gas stove pollution,” Seals told CBS. “More than half of households with children in Massachusetts are cooking with a gas stove.”

The link between gas stove usage and childhood asthma likely centers on nitrogen dioxide. 

“One of the major ones that concerns us is nitrogen dioxide, which happens anytime you burn any fuel,” Jon Levy, of Boston University’s School of Public Health, told CBS. “I think there is an increased focus on indoor environments during the pandemic. We have known for a long time that nitrogen dioxide can trigger asthma attacks.”


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