Gas Stoves In US Are As Bad For The Environment As 500,000 Cars: Study


Vehicles and engines using internal combustion engines often attract attention in the debate about greenhouse gas emissions. Something that isn’t usually researched is the common household stove, but a new study draws an interesting comparison between these two very different worlds. And the numbers may surprise you.

No, we haven’t changed our website to, but when something that emits the equivalent of 500,000 cars’ greenhouse gases is mentioned, we pay attention. That’s what California researchers said in a recent study, according to a report from Associated Press. The focus is on methane emissions from gas stoves, which obviously release gas into the air when in use but can also leak in small amounts even when turned off. That’s the worrying part, as such leaks are not factored into the government’s official estimates of total stove emissions.

How much gas are we talking about here? The study claims 2.6 million tonnes of methane in units of carbon dioxide equivalent leak from stoves every year. According to the researchers, that’s the same number you’d find from 500,000 cars in the same time period. This is in addition to the 6.8 million tonnes of CO2 emitted by stoves during use, as well as the estimated 100 million tonnes of emissions that leak into the atmosphere from the use and extraction of natural gas.

The study’s authors came to this conclusion after examining 53 kitchens in California featuring gas stoves. It was determined that 75 percent of the total methane emissions actually occur when the stove is turned off. Apart from additional greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, air quality in homes and potential health risks are also mentioned as worrying issues stemming from the use of gas stoves.


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