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Doctors want to ban gas stoves

Doctors and environmental pressure groups have called on the Legault government to ban gas stoves because of the health risks they pose.

A few days ago, I did a study of Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health It added fuel to the flames of controversy over the gas stove. We learned that 12.7% of childhood asthma cases in the United States are linked to these devices.

“It doesn’t trigger asthma, but it does help,” says Patricia Clairmont, coordinator of the Quebec Association of Environmental Physicians (AQME). And it’s not just combustion-related emissions, she adds. Pollutants are emitted even when the devices are closed.

She continues, “In 2013, a meta-analysis reported that children who lived in a home equipped with a gas stove were 42% more likely to have asthma symptoms, which is a lot.”

Therefore, the AQME, which includes a few hundred doctors, and six organizations, including Greenpeace and Ecohabitation, are asking the government to adopt a regulation to prohibit the connection of any gas equipment (including stoves and heaters) in new buildings.

banned by cities

In recent years, a few US cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, have passed such laws. Last fall, California also became the first US state to pass legislation banning the sale of gas-fired heating equipment by 2030.

The Canadian Society of Environmental Physicians, of which AQME is a member, requests the same.

“One in eight cases of childhood asthma in the United States is linked to indoor air pollution from gas stoves,” ACME President Dr. Melissa Lim wrote in a tweet. If that wasn’t motivation enough to get the gas out of buildings and homes […] Across Canada, I wonder what that is.”

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misinformation

AQME adds that it is not normal for the population not to be better informed about the risks by gas manufacturers, sellers and distributors such as Énergir.

“The effects are minimized and consumers, when they find out, feel cheated,” adds Ms. Clermont.

The group is calling for the formation of a parliamentary committee to “shed light on what gas distributors know”.

“It’s a shame to know that for 30 years there have been studies exposing risks and affecting people’s health,” denounced Greenpeace’s Patrick Bonin.

Engir admits “concerns”

Although it touts the advantages of gas stoves, Quebec’s major natural gas distributor acknowledges that there are “concerns” about nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions from the combustion of natural gas from these appliances.

“[Énergir] It does not sell or promote natural gas stoves,” insists Ellen Arsenault, the company’s media advisor in an email sent to Record.

However, on the distributor’s website we can read an article dating back to 2019 which states that “a natural gas stove will prove to be a great partner for your best dishes” or even “with a natural gas stove, the meal has never been so prepped. It was so much fun!” “

In the comments section, to the person who thanks him for the advice and says he wants to buy this type of device, Énergir replies: “It makes us happy!”.

Another text describes commercial stoves as “ideal and indispensable.” These articles do not address health risks.

proper ventilation

Engier says she advises her clients on “good practices” to adopt. “It’s important to have an efficient hood that not only filters out the particles but also evacuates them (CO2and CO and NO2) and high airflow to avoid any potential health effects.”

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This makes it possible to “significantly reduce all pollutants from combustion.”

“Whenever new natural gas appliances are installed, checks are done by technicians to make sure everything is in good condition,” says the lady.I Arsenault.

She adds that adequate ventilation is necessary regardless of the energy source, recognizing that “electricity remains the best source of energy to completely eliminate these emissions.”

less used here

Even if Energier recognizes the “concerns” raised by the US studies, he states that in Quebec, electricity is used much more.

Patricia Clermont, of AQME, agrees that gas stoves are used more by our neighbors, but here they are gaining popularity.

Gazifère, also a gas distribution company, says the safety of its customers and workers is a priority. We were told, “We were informed of this study last week and read it with great interest.”

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