Gas Stoves, Ovens Can Leak Chemicals Linked To Cancer

By Jason Hall

October 20, 2022

Gas Flame
Photo: Getty Images

Natural gas stoves and ovens are reportedly capable of leaking chemicals linked to cancer, according to a recent study.

The study, which was conducted by the nonprofit energy research institute PSE Health Energy and published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology on Thursday (October 20), found at least 12 hazardous air pollutants emitted from gas stoves in California, among them benzene, a chemical capable of causing cancer in individuals with long-term exposure, NBC News reports.

PSE Health Energy used gas samples from 159 residential stoves in 16 countries throughout the state of California and found that 99% of the samples had benzene present.

The study also took into account the size of the kitchen, the room's ventilation level, how much of the chemical was present and whether stoves were leaking when they were turned off.

Researchers found that the leakiest stoves exposed individuals to indoor concentrations of benzene reported to be up to seven times higher than what is considered to be safe exposure levels set by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

This kind of exposure can increase a person's risk of blood disorders and reproductive issues, though scientists still have many unanswered questions regarding how benzene affects people's health.

The chemical has been most commonly linked to leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while the World Health Organization states that no level of exposure to benzene is considered safe in terms of cancer risk.

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