Last year, the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban most gas appliances in new buildings.

The move was made to help combat global warming.

What You Need To Know

  • A new study reveals using gas stoves poses a considerable health risk

  • In some instances, it's equivalent to breathing in secondhand smoke

  • The study also found that there are different levels when you're cooking

But a new study reveals using gas stoves also poses a considerable health risk. In some instances, it's equivalent to breathing in secondhand smoke. LA Times staff writer Tony Briscoe wrote about and joined host Lisa McRee on "LA Times Today."

"This was a collaboration between Stanford University researchers and those from PFC Healthy Energy, a nonprofit research institute," said Briscoe. "And this is really the first of its kind to measure benzene emissions from cooking with a gas stove. It's long been established that stoves can worsen indoor air quality with lung-irritating pollutants. But Benzene is a different animal. Benzene is a cancer-causing chemical that has no safe level of exposure. There are certainly health benchmarks that you don't want to exceed, but it's also found in cigarette smoke. And so while you're cooking Benzene, it's a partial combustion byproduct. So when the gas isn't fully burnt or combusted, Benzene is one of the range of chemicals that can be produced."

The study also found that there are different levels when you're cooking — how much pollution is emitted at high, low, and even while the stove is off.

"Researchers tested gas stoves in 87 homes in California and in Colorado," said Briscoe. "These were stoves of various models and ages. They measured how these Benzene emissions could build up. It only took 45 minutes of a single gas burner on high or the oven set to 350 degrees to make problematic Benzene levels in-house. This was not only a problem in the kitchen but also in the household as it spread into other rooms. And it often lingered for hours. So when you're cooking on high, you know more Benzene is emitted because you're just using more gas. But surprisingly, when you're cooking on low, there's actually more Benzene emitted. So there's higher benzene rates when you're cooking with low versus high and low. When the stove is off, Benzene can weaken households, which was a startling revelation as well because Benzene is also present in underground gas deposits."

Click the arrow above to watch the full interview.

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