Thanks to their convenience, gas stoves have become abundant in today’s kitchen.
But if you’re conscious of your home’s indoor environment and air quality, you may be wondering –
Do gas stoves emit formaldehyde? Yes, gas stoves give off formaldehyde because that’s what natural gas gives off when burnt anyway. Gas stoves also emit other chemicals through the process of burning natural gas like carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Those, along with formaldehyde, can cause respiratory health problems or worse.
Now that you have a clear warning, let’s go into more detail to assess what the real danger may be in your own home.
What Chemicals Do Gas Stoves Emit?
Gas stoves emit formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, along with other gases. This simply as a result of burning natural gas. Carbon monoxide is released in considerable with older gas stoves, while newer gas stoves release much less carbon monoxide.
Cooking at higher temperatures (like frying on the high setting, for example) releases more of these three pollutants. Not using the proper ventilation or range hoods has shown to momentarily spike the levels of these pollutants beyond acceptable standards.
How Dangerous Is Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde is a possibly carcinogenic chemical that belongs to what are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
At its worst, formaldehyde is a probable human carcinogen, potentially causing cancer in nasal tissues and leukemia. However, those studies are mostly based on occupational exposure and exposure to formaldehyde in liquid form. Exposure to formaldehyde in its less concentrated gas form as is the case in the average homes is too low to raise those kinds of alarms.
Nonetheless, formaldehyde can still be dangerous in its gas form in your home. It is an eye, nose, skin, and throat irritant, so it can cause respiratory and skin problems as well. Asthma is less common with formaldehyde and is more likely under occupational exposure only.
How to Protect Your Family and Home
All this might sound extremely dangerous, but the truth is that most people will never experience the type of exposure that will lead to cancer or death.
But to minimize the risk and alleviate the respiratory discomfort and irritation that formaldehyde can cause, here are a few tips:
Limit Exposure From Other Sources, Too
It’s not just your gas stove that’s giving off formaldehyde. Here are a few things that also give off formaldehyde that you may wish to control or eliminate:
Limit Your Exposure to Fumes in the Garage
Vehicles give off formaldehyde. Never allow vehicles to run idly in the garage, and always keep the indoor door to the garage shut if you have an attached garage.
New products and building materials can have formaldehyde in them as soon as they come out of the factory. You’ll know this by the unusual odor. This usually subsides within a day or two after they’ve been in your home, indicating that the formaldehyde is being aired out of the materials.
- New furniture – allow wood-pressed furniture and mattresses to off-gas for a day before introducing them into your home.
- New building materials like laminate flooring , fiberglass insulation, and paint – is there a way to keep the flooring materials out in the sun for an afternoon or on a covered patio the day before installation, or can your family move sleep elsewhere the night after the installation or paint job?
RECOMMENDED POST: 13 Tips to Remove Formaldehyde in Your Home Immediately
Designate a CLOSED smoking area that’s separate from your home’s ventilation system, or introduce the idea of smoking outdoors to your household.
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Other Fuel-Burning Appliances
It’s not just your gas stove. Other appliances can give off formaldehyde too. Limit the use of kerosene space heaters, gas fireplaces, and gas laundry dryers. Make sure any gas appliances is vented well and its vents aren’t clogged.
Things That Smell Good
I jokingly call this “things that smell good,” but it seems that things that have a scent in your home are prone to VOCs, including formaldehyde. Candles, air fresheners, laundry detergents, dish detergents, cleaning supplies, shampoos, body washes, and cosmetics belong in this category.
What to Do About All This
You might be saying, “What doesn’t have formaldehyde in my home? Now what?!”
Don’t worry, the levels aren’t high enough to be concerned, but all these synthetic products we use on an everyday basis can add up quickly. Look for natural products and always opt for unscented versions whenever possible. Use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans often, and even more importantly, get an air purifier with a good activated carbon filter. Those will take care of VOCs like formaldehyde and eliminate them.
As far as the gas stove, get a range hood that has a powerful and fast air flow. Cook on the back burner rather than the front burner whenever possible. It’s easier for range hoods to pick up pollutants from the back of a stove. It’s always better to vent the air to the outside rather to only have a range hood recirculate the same air. so either upgrade your range hood or open a window when cooking. And whenever possible, cook at lower temperatures.