If This Is in Your Kitchen, Your COVID Death Risk May Be Even Higher

The common appliance is being called into question over safety fears.

You probably know that some items in your kitchen can be hazardous if used incorrectly, from sharp knives to those bacteria-laden sponges you're definitely not cleaning enough. And while you of course know that your stove could cause fires or burns if you're not careful, there's another way your range could be putting you at risk that you likely didn't know about. Two recent reports, published by the Rocky Mountain Institute and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, suggest that the presence of a gas range or furnace in your home may be very dangerous.

Their findings show that these common appliances could be wrecking havoc on your respiratory system, which is the last thing you need in the age of COVID-19. In fact, a recent study found that nitrogen dioxide, one of the dangerous pollutants a gas range gives off, "may enhance population susceptibility to death from COVID-19."

Read on to learn the risks, and for another shocking COVID-related hazard to be aware of, check out If You Use This Mouthwash, the FDA Says to Stop Immediately.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Gas ranges produce a wide range of potentially toxic pollutants.

stove with gas burners
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Stoves and furnaces that burn natural gas produce plenty of pollutants, most notably particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde. Analysis by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that homes using gas rather than electric stoves have levels of NO2 that would violate legal limits if they were measured outdoors, according to a deep dive into the dangers of cooking with gas published by Quartz.

"There's no question this has been a neglected issue," T. Stephen Jones, MD, a physician and epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Quartz. "We ought to get up on the rooftops and shout about it." And for another cooking tool you need to be careful of, check out This Surprising Staple in Your Kitchen Could Be Toxic, Research Shows.

One dangerous pollutant your gas range gives off has been linked to higher COVID mortality rates.

Doctors and Nurses Taking Care of COVID Patients in ICU
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A recent study led by Emory University examined COVID-19 data in more than 3,100 U.S. counties, and found that long-term exposure to elevated NO2 (from pollution, in the case of the study) was correlated with a 16 percent higher risk of death from COVID-19. But that's hardly the only risk of cooking with gas. Keep reading to learn more, and for another COVID risk factor you may not be aware of, check out This Common Habit Could Make Your COVID Risk Much Higher, Doctors Say.

Cooking with your gas oven and stove at the same time for an hour could exceed legal limits.

Woman using oven to cook
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The April 2020 report by UCLA, commissioned by the Sierra Club, found that cooking with gas in a small space for an hour resulted in levels of NO2 that exceeded legal ambient air quality limits.

"Under a cooking scenario where the stove and oven are used simultaneously for an hour, acute exposures to NO2 from cooking with gas appliances exceed the levels of national and California-based ambient air quality thresholds in more than 90 percent of modeled emission scenarios," the researchers concluded. And for more regular health updates delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The pollutants from your gas range can lead to asthma.

woman using an inhaler
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One clear link that researchers have found is that homes where families cook with gas have increased incidences of asthma. A 2013 meta-analysis of 41 studies found that children living in homes with gas stoves had a 42 percent higher risk of experiencing asthma symptoms, and were 24 percent more likely to be diagnosed with asthma over their lifetimes. Similarly, a 2018 study by the University of Queensland found that despite only 38 percent of Australian homes using gas stoves, more than 12 percent of childhood asthma was directly attributable to their use.

Additionally, almost 25 years ago, British medical journal The Lancet published a study that had tracked 15,000 adults in the East Anglia region of the U.K. Those researchers found higher asthma-like symptoms and reduced lung function among women who cooked with gas stoves. And for a different kitchen staple you need to double-check, know that If You Have This Spice in Your Pantry, the FDA Says Check It Immediately.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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