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Serious climate- and health-related concerns about gas stoves


Darienne
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Here's an interesting web site and chart which show where our electricity comes from...

 

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

 

Quote

In 2020, about 4,007 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) (or about 4.01 trillion kWh) of electricity were generated at utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the United States.1 About 61% of this electricity generation was from fossil fuels—coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases. About 20% was from nuclear energy, and about 20% was from renewable energy sources.

 

We have a way to go...

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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49 minutes ago, rotuts said:

recently the idea that gas granges ' leak '

 

is In the News.

 

lets say some do , some don't.

 

Id be very interested to hear any 

 

reliable inso on this ' leakage '

 

and do the very high end ranges ( Blue Star , Wolf  etc )

 

have documented ' less leakage '  orno leakage ?

 

This is the article that was discussed in the radio show I mentioned listening to on Tuesday:  Methane and NOx Emissions from Natural Gas Stoves, Cooktops, and Ovens in Residential Homes and the senior author of that study, Rob Jackson of Stanford, was a guest on the show, along with Katherine Blunt, energy reporter from the WSJ.  This is the same study referred to in the article that @Darienne shared in the first post. 

 

The numbers in the study are very small, only 50 some homes and obviously not powered to assist in brand selection. The supporting information lists the stoves but does not specify the exact model, nor the age.  Only one Bluestar.  In the radio interview, Jackson said that the stoves ranged from 3 - 30 years old.  He said there was not a strict correlation between age and the amount of leakage. In some cases, auto-igniters weren't working but owners reported using the burners anyway so that's surely going to result in more methane leakage.  

 

He was clear that the levels of methane leakage from stoves are generally NOT a health hazard in homes but that the cumulative leakage has broader impacts on climate.

That said, NO2 levels can be more concerning and are a good reason to ensure adequate ventilation.  He was not advocating for getting rid of functioning gas appliances but for encouraging alternatives for future development.  

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, rotuts said:

Id be very interested to hear any 

 

reliable inso on this ' leakage '

 

and do the very high end ranges ( Blue Star , Wolf  etc )

 

have documented ' less leakage '  orno leakage ?

 

 

 

The study I saw (reported in the Times last week) showed that there wasn't a consistent difference between expensive and inexpensive ranges. The study was not designed to figure out exactly where the leaks were coming from. It's possible that it was mostly from fixtures and connectors. Much of the released methane is not from leaks, but from gas released by burners before they ignite. This is most significant with oven burners, which use lots of gas and which cycle on and off with the thermostat.

 

Someone in the comments section calculated that the average daily methane leakage from a gas range was about the same as the average daily methane leakage from a human. I didn't check the math, but sounds reasonable! Which would be to say, this is all a minor source of methane when you compare to all the world's other methane leakers (sheep and cows being high on the list). 

 

It's really just another problem to pile on top of all the others—not huge in and of itself, but part of a larger picture.

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Notes from the underbelly

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This thread has the potential of being rather interesting.

 

What I know about gas:

 

I've got a house in a major northeast city, has been in our family ownership for over 60 years. The house heats with gas (converted over from oil many years ago), also a gas water heater. 

For years, over 40, there was a consistent odor of natural gas in the grassed area between the sidewalk and the street. The street is one of the city larger secondary roads. It was reported to the gas company many times, nothing ever done to rectify the issue. 25 years ago a large maple tree, the trunk not quite 2 feet in diameter at the base and probably 40 feet high (at least). The tree decided to snap at the roots and gracefully lean itself onto the roof of the house (the canopy of the tree, helped to cushion the fall onto the eaves). Minor damage to the house, but looking at the base it was clear that the roots were completely rotted. The soil was a crumbly grey consistency.

Just 4 or 5 years ago the gas company replaced the main gas feed in the street and at the same time replaced every gas line from the street to each individual house. Quite the endeavor, and fun to watch. Many months of work.

Once completed, there was in initiative to place disease resistant trees on the city streets. Doing our street they planted a sapling in the direct spot of the maple that hit the house. Wishing a couple of months it was dead, all the other trees newly planted on the street thriving. Called the city, asked for a replacement, and advised that they should look at the condition of the soil due to the decades old gas leak. I was able to meet up with the detail given the assignment of replanting, asked them to dig down a couple of feet by hand. Weeks later they replaced a good amount of soil in that area with new. We've a new sapling there for a few years now, seems to be doing well.

 

Recently, putting in my Bluestar, I needed to extend the gas line (my wife wouldn't allow me extend it myself). I was quite amazed when watching the work done that he did not need any major tools to remove the black steel pipe while prepping the area. And in not major tools I mean he unscrewed the joints with his hands and a small sheet of rubber as a grip. This is in a 65 year old house....

Asking about this he told me this was very common. Black pipe, installed correctly with correct threads and a small amount of pipe dope was sufficient to be installed a strong hand tight. He did all of the leak tests, pressure gauge, bubble water, etc. No issues. Still a $500 charge though. 

 

And just last week I had my gas furnace apart to clean the orifice for the pilot light. Older furnace, pilot always burning to keep the thermocouple active (and that keeps the pilot lit). 

 

That said, this was a few years ago in Massachusetts:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrimack_Valley_gas_explosions

 

Damn, long post. But I think what I was getting at was the problems with gas are probably not at your stove, but with how it's getting to you. Still a major problem.

 

I think I've got a newspaper article from when the tree was on the house. I'll try to find it. It's somewhat related to cooking, I scavenged quite a bit of the wood for an outdoor fireplace?

 

 

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

He was not advocating for getting rid of functioning gas appliances but for encouraging alternatives for future development.  

Right, and this is what the proposed legislation I've seen is about. 

 

Banning gas appliances outright would be too hard and expensive. In our building in NYC, for example, we're not even allowed to have an electric range or oven. The building doesn't have the electrical capacity. This is probably a typical situation in older cities.

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Notes from the underbelly

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’ve a high powered gas wok burner outside, want a big charcoal bbq. Inside I’ve unfortunately a plain electric cook top and a portable induction cook top. Moved here from an apartment that was gas and really good gas cook too at that as well. 
 

im going to stick with gas outside and when the kitchen gets renovated it will be changed to a high powered induction cook top. For years I fell into the camp of gas but the cheap induction cooktop has converted me it’s a 100 times better then gas has ever been in the 19 or so years I’ve had it. 
 

Plus these studies are just confirming everything already known about gas cook tops they aren’t as healthy and combustion if any type shouldn’t be in a closed environment especially in places where we don’t have lots of mechanical ventilation like the USA in Australia we have doors and windows and that’s about it mostly not all kitchen hoods vent outside unfortunately. 
 

charing peppers doesn’t work as well with induction though haha

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On 2/2/2022 at 7:48 AM, blue_dolphin said:

I had not given much thought to the climate impact of passive gas leakage from appliances that aren't powered on.

 

Nor should you.  There's probably more personal  passive gas leakage going on in kitchens.  Better to ban beans.

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I have one burner where the igniter clicks but often doesn't light right away. Then, I ended up rustling around for a match to light it.  

After reading these articles, I spent $12 on one of these USB rechargeable lighters (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) to keep by the stove. 

Should help cut down on the gas emission and I'm sure it's cheaper than getting a new igniter from Wolf. 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

This has become the narrative.  The lazy press will rework and rehash it again and again.

 

Do all the gas stoves equal a couple private jets?  Doubt it.

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2 hours ago, gfweb said:

This has become the narrative.  The lazy press will rework and rehash it again and again.

 

Do all the gas stoves equal a couple private jets?  Doubt it.

 

I know what you are saying, and i don't entirely disagree. But if I had kids, I'd be a bit worried about those numbers on asthma, etc. 

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10 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

I know what you are saying, and i don't entirely disagree. But if I had kids, I'd be a bit worried about those numbers on asthma, etc. 

 

When I lived in BC I had friends - with gas - who had never, not once, turned on their exhaust fan. "I hate the damned things, they make too much noise" was the rationale. I wonder how they're doing, these days...

 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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5 hours ago, chromedome said:

 

When I lived in BC I had friends - with gas - who had never, not once, turned on their exhaust fan. "I hate the damned things, they make too much noise" was the rationale. I wonder how they're doing, these days...

 

 

I know people here and in other parts of the world who rarely use the fan. I think it's partly because most floor plans are quite open these days and encourage socializing near the kitchen and some fans can be loud enough to affect conversation. 

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I've had a gas cooktop with no exhaust fan since I moved into this house 13 years ago. I'd like to get one someday.

There's a floor-to-ceiling jalousie window 5 feet to the right of the cooktop that I open when doing a lot of cooking.  And it's the sort that's pretty much open even when it's supposedly closed.

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18 hours ago, gfweb said:

This has become the narrative.  The lazy press will rework and rehash it again and again.

 

Do all the gas stoves equal a couple private jets?  Doubt it.


Don’t come down too hard on the “lazy” press. The nature of the beast is that it requires a knowledge base miles wide and a couple of inches deep, even if one works for a large enough publication to “specialize” in subject matter.

Don't ask. Eat it.

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Again, this is mostly a ventilation problem and not a gas problem. Good fans are quiet and best placed at the far end of the vent, making noise considerations moot. But consumers don’t know about this and contractors don’t care, so finding home kitchens with adequate ventilation regardless of cooking fuel is almost impossible. I cook a lot of things outside for this reason. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sear a steak on a butane burner in my back yard.

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1 hour ago, kayb said:


Don’t come down too hard on the “lazy” press. The nature of the beast is that it requires a knowledge base miles wide and a couple of inches deep, even if one works for a large enough publication to “specialize” in subject matter.

 

That's a good explanation of the problem.

And things are getting worse. Clicks are rewarded, not depth or understanding.

So clickable myth is perpetuated and eventually becomes accepted truth and then public policy.

Sigh.

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