The curse of the climate, methane, like CO2, is a potent greenhouse gas. Often associated with animal husbandry or waste management, it is also released via gas stoves, according to new research.
According to the Stanford researchers who conducted this study, the annual methane emissions from all gas stoves in American homes would have a climate impact comparable to that of the CO2 emissions of 500,000 cars per year.
The study, conducted on 50 homes in California in the United States, points to the dual risk of such exposure, both to the environment and to our health. Overall, the researchers estimate that these stoves emit up to 1.3% of the gas they use as unburned methane. Problem: These leaks are persistent even when these devices are turned off.
The methane emission released when igniting and extinguishing a burner is on average 45.9 mg of methane. In comparison, series equipped with a “built-in and working” electronic ignition system emit about 38 mg of methane. And this regardless of the age of the stove.
But that is not everything. Emissions of air pollutants that can cause respiratory diseases (asthma, cough, etc.), such as nitrogen oxides, were detected in the air of 32 homes. “These emissions were linearly related to the amount of natural gas burned”notes the study.
To limit the pollution of our indoor air, the researchers recommend using the extractor hood or opening the window more often during cooking.
And why not invest in a fully electric stove?