Are Propane Gas Stoves Safe?

Gas ranges offer a professional-quality cooking experience.

gas stoves miami, fl For a long time, there has been a consensus that gas-fired stoves are vastly preferable to electric products. Indeed, one survey found that 96% of professional chefs preferred cooking with gas.

Even so, some of our customers in the greater Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach area have asked us if they should consider getting rid of their propane ranges. They aren’t unhappy with their propane appliance’s performance. Many have heard that gas stoves are bad for the air. Some have even heard that their gas stove will be “banned.”

At Southeast Propane, we want to help clear up some of the confusion.

What is the gas stove debate about?

Firstly, the government is not going to force you to remove your existing gas stove. Rumors suggesting a stove ban began in early 2023 when the commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) commented about his concerns about stoves and air quality. The CPSC then sought public input on hazards associated with gas stoves. This agency wants to reduce the risk of injuries and deaths associated with faulty consumer products.

Gas stoves became a flash point because of studies about their effect on pollution inside the home. For example, an International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health study from December 2022 stated that “12.7% of current childhood asthma nationwide is attributed to gas stove use.” But these studies aren’t as black-and-white as some people claim.

Are propane stoves harmful to respiratory health?

Unfortunately, most researchers on this topic are confining their description to just “gas stoves,” apparently not realizing that there are some key differences between a stove powered by natural gas and one fueled by propane.

One much-discussed Stanford study involved 53 natural gas stoves. It had some bracing findings about methane leaks. But propane contains no methane, so this is not an issue with propane ranges. A Lawrence Berkeley National Lab found that simply boiling water on a natural gas stove produces nearly twice the amount of nitrogen dioxide than the outdoor standard established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Considering that about a third of homes in our country cook with natural gas, that needs to be addressed.

How does particulate matter come into play?

You might have heard that gas stoves produce particulate matter, which the EPA defines as microscopic solids or liquid droplets so small that they can be inhaled and cause health problems.

The reality is that all cooking generates particulate matter. As Iain Walker of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab says, “Anything with a red-hot element is going to generate particles. That includes most stovetops, ovens and even small appliances like toasters.”

So, whether you’re cooking with propane, natural gas, electricity or another energy source, it’s essential that you use your kitchen range hood to vent particulate matter and any other combustion byproducts. If you don’t have a range hood, open a nearby window.

Is cooking with electricity safer?

Electric stoves have safety issues, too. The National Fire Protection Association recently found that electric ranges cause household fires 2.6 times more often than gas ranges, civilian injuries 4.8 times more often and civilian deaths 3.4 times more often.

It’s also worth noting that some research contradicts claims about gas stoves and air quality. An abstract in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine found “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.”

If you have any questions about using your propane home appliances in the safest, most efficient way possible, get in touch with Southeast Propane.