Thursday, July 25, 2024

I’m a doctor – this common household appliance is making you and your children sick: ‘Get rid of it’

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A doctor has warned against people using a common household appliance and says it can lead to acute asthma, increased allergies and even pneumonia.

According to Dr Ben Ewald gas stoves are among the most dangerous household appliances today.

The doctor who lives and works in Newcastle and has practiced medicine for 30 years told FEMAIL people should reconsider having a gas stove at home.

Especially if they have children. 

‘Living with a gas stove is the health equivalent of living with a smoker,’ he warned. 

The tiny but harmful nanoparticles, such as nitrogen dioxide, omitted from the flames are the perfect size to flow into your respiratory system and stick to your lungs, triggering unwanted irritation. 

The health issues more commonly impact children exposed to gas, but can also effect adults and elderly people. 

‘There are lots of causes of asthma, viruses are the biggest one, but gas stove exposure is on that list,’ Dr Ewald said. 

Dr Ben Ewald, a General Practitioner from Newcastle with 30 years of experience, said the gas stovetops can increase the risks of developing asthma (stock image)

‘Nitrogen dioxide is a respiratory irritant that’s produced from the flame. At high levels it can be toxic but even at low levels it can lead to asthma.’ 

The flame also releases formaldehyde which is another respiratory irritant and tiny amounts of benzene which is a carcinogen.

Research conducted by the International Journal of Epidemiology revealed children exposed to gas stoves at home have a 42 per cent increased risk of developing asthma and a 24 per cent greater chance of being diagnosed with asthma at some point in life. 

Victoria, the ACT and several local council areas in New South Wales have banned the installation of gas appliances in new homes to phase out fossil fuel energy. 

According to Asthma Australia, a staggering 48 per cent of Australians use a gas cooktop for cooking in the home and 7 per cent use unflued gas heaters regularly during cooler months.

The health issues more commonly impact children. The tiny but harmful nanoparticles omitted from the flames are the perfect size to flow into your respiratory system and stick to your lungs, causing unwanted irritation (stock image)

The health issues more commonly impact children. The tiny but harmful nanoparticles omitted from the flames are the perfect size to flow into your respiratory system and stick to your lungs, causing unwanted irritation (stock image)

Children exposed to gas stovetops can also develop a sensitivity to other things, such as dust mites.  

What can you do to reduce the risk?

Before ripping out the gas stove to replace with an induction cooktop, there are a number of ways to reduce the risk first.

Dr Ewald said to open a door or window prior to turning on the stove, always use the rangehood or purchase a benchtop induction cooker. 

Induction cooktops also tend to be cheaper and can boil a pot of water faster compared to natural gas.

The Global Cooksafe Coalition (GCC) is also on a mission to promote universal access to safe, sustainable cooking by 2030 in new kitchens and 2040 in existing kitchens across both residential and commercial properties. 

This means fossil-fuel-free cooking on electric appliances, powered by renewable energy instead of gas.

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