9 states, DC and NYC call for federal action on gas stoves

Nines states as well as the cities of New York and Washington, D.C., are calling on the federal government to issue regulations related to gas stoves.

In a letter dated Monday and submitted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the state and city attorneys general call for “voluntary standards or mandatory regulations” in order to “reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants from gas stoves.”

But, they specifically express preferences for mandatory standards over voluntary recommendations, specifically calling for mandatory standards for ventilation and emissions of hazardous substances.

“Attempts to develop voluntary standards can stall or result in inadequate standards that will not protect against the health risks to consumers,” they wrote regarding emissions.

“Due to this possibility and the importance of protecting the health of consumers, the CPSC should initiate a rulemaking to develop mandatory gas stoves standards,” they wrote.

The commission put out a request earlier this year for information on “hazards associated with gas stoves” and “proposed solutions.”

Health concerns have been raised about the appliances in the wake of studies linking them to asthma and finding that they can leak cancer-causing benzene.

​​Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. in December described the request as “the first step in what could be a long journey toward regulating gas stoves” and said that a ban was a possibility.

Reiterating the comments earlier this year sparked a political firestorm, with Republicans in particular criticizing the idea of a gas stove ban.

Trumka’s fellow commissioner Alexander Hoehn-Saric, who chairs the panel, came out against a ban in the wake of the backlash.

Though commissioners are presidential appointees — and the commission is currently made up of three Biden appointees and one Trump appointee —  the panel is technically independent and does not answer to the president.

Nevertheless, President Biden has also come out against the idea of a ban.

The states that supported federal action in this week’s letter were: Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state.

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