Lack of Ventilation in Gas Stove Kitchens Increases Asthma Risk in Children, Study


Lack of ventilation in gas stove kitchens increases risk of asthma in children, according to an Oregon State University study. The finding  recommends parents to use ventilation when cooking with a gas stove.

"In homes where a gas stove was used without venting, the prevalence of asthma and wheezing is higher than in homes where a gas stove was used with ventilation," said Ellen Smit, an associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and one of the study authors, in a statement.

Asthma is a common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Gas stoves known to affect indoor air pollution levels are used in an estimated 48 percent of American homes.  

Eric Coker, a doctoral student in public health and a co-author of the study, said that the study was conducted to determine links between air pollution from gas stoves and respiratory issues.

For the study, researchers used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics from 1988-1994.

Researchers found that children, who lived in homes where ventilators like exhaust fans were used when cooking with gas stoves, were 32 percent less likely to have asthma than those without ventilation. These children were also 38 percent less likely to have bronchitis and 39 percent less likely to have wheezing. 

In homes where gas kitchen stove was used for heating along with ventilation, children were 44 percent less likely to develop asthma and 43 percent less likely to have bronchitis.

"Reducing exposure to environmental factors that can exacerbate asthma can help improve the quality of life for people with this condition," said Molly Kile, the study's lead author.

The study did not determine the cause and effect of gas stove use without ventilation on respiratory issues. Smith said that they just found an association between having asthma and use of ventilation. Further studies are required to understand the relationship and whether emissions from gas stoves could cause or worsen asthma in children.

The findings were published in the journal "Environmental Health."

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