The Health Hazards of Natural Gas

The Health Hazards of Natural Gas by Agnes Malouf and David Wimberly, Summer 2001,
The British medical journal, The Lancet, reported in1996 that the use of domestic gas appliances, particularly gas stoves, was linked to increased asthma, respiratory illness, and impaired lung function especially in young women.  Women using gas stoves had double the respiratory problems of women cooking on electric stoves. The same study showed that using extractor fans which vented the cooking fumes outside did not reduce adverse effects of gas. … The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Clean Air Guide (1993) identified gas water heaters, furnaces, unvented space heaters and cook stoves as significant contributors to chemical contamination in the home. … “For the chemically susceptible individual this gas may be the worst form of fuel,” writes Dr. T. G. Randolph. But surprisingly, his studies found that when gas stoves were removed from the home of a person with chemical sensitivities, not only did their health improve, but so did the health of all family members. … Natural gas brings harmful chemicals into homes through the methane it contains. Methane (which gives the flame its blue colour as it does in propane) is an asphyxiant. … “Natural gas is dangerous for several reasons,” says health advocate Helen Lofgren . … “Unplanned leaks and the danger of explosion compound the risks of gas.” … But let’s keep it far away from the air we breathe inside our houses, apartment buildings and schools. If we consider health care costs and the impact of living with illness, bringing natural gas into our homes is not a sensible choice.

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