It is less expensive to cook with gas than it is to cook with an electric stove, but there are health risks that you face if you decide to cook with gas on a regular basis.

A report published online  explained that cooking with gas not only exposes you to the possibility of breathing in fumes and carbon monoxide poisoning, but there are other serious dangers involved when you choose to cook with gas.  Knowing some of the health risks you face will help you make an informed decision about your cooking methods.

Cooking gas and your lungs
Researchers from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine of the University of Aberdeen Medical School and the School of Life Sciences at Napier University in Scotland conducted a study on the use of gas while cooking.

The study revealed that air pollution occurs when gas is burned, and that the pollution can cause inflammation in the lungs.  Researchers M Dennekamp, S Howarth, C A J Dick, J W Cherrie, K Donaldson, and A Seaton exposed lung cells to gas fumes and the cellular tissues created cytokines: bodily produced chemicals which are associated with respiratory inflammation.  The inflammation can cause a narrowing of the air passageways and complicates existing breathing conditions.

Exposure to higher gas concentrations
According to Dr Mark Niewenhuijsen from the Imperial College in London, cooking gas fumes can have a high concentration level in the home.  Some home kitchens lack adequate ventilation, which increases the risk of exposure to gas pollutants.  Dr Mark Niewenhuijsen also asserts that fumes are produced from certain foods that are cooked with gas, and the fumes, coupled with the gas pollutants can prove dangerous to your health.

Respiratory conditions
Gas cooking stoves have been linked to the onset and/or aggravation of existing respiratory conditions.  Conditions include an increase prevalence of infection, a notable increase in the presence of white blood cells in the body linked with the onset of respiratory infections, chronic coughs, asthma, wheezing, bronchitis, and chronic inflammation of lung tissues.  Homes with improper ventilation offer increased incidents of respiratory conditions when a gas stove is used in the home for cooking purposes.

Carbon monoxide poisoning
With owning a gas stove for cooking, there is always the possibility that poisoning by carbon monoxide will occur.  Since carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and difficult to detect without a carbon monoxide detector, the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning is considerably dangerous: this type of poisoning takes the lives of some 500 Americans every year.  Long term exposure to low levels of the invisible gas has been linked to other respiratory illnesses.

Carbon monoxide poisoning has several symptoms including headaches and breathlessness.  Continued exposure can result in extreme fatigue, vertigo, nausea, mental confusion, mood swings, and difficulty with coordination.  After extended exposure to CO2 or when exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, an individual can pass out and this type of poisoning can prove fatal.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.