AGA Files Comments In Response to CPSC RFI
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association today filed comments in response to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Request for Information (RFI) related to cooking with natural gas. The comments respond to the detailed questions laid out by the CPSC and provide the Commission with an extensive amount of objective, data-driven analysis and research related to the topic.
As outlined in the comments, “The CPSC has called for information relating to ‘chronic hazards associated with gas ranges and proposed solutions.’ This presumes that there are ‘chronic hazards’ that need to be addressed. AGA respectfully submits that the available body of scientific research does not provide sufficient or consistent evidence demonstrating that there are chronic hazards from gas ranges.”
Included in the multitude of resources AGA provided to the CPSC is information about a recently published peer-reviewed study, “Gas Cooking and Respiratory Outcomes in Children: A Systematic Review,” that examined existing research and concluded that there is not sufficient evidence to demonstrate causal relationships between gas cooking and indoor NO2 and asthma and wheeze in children. The systematic review by Li et al., funded by the American Gas Association (AGA) and published in Global Epidemiology on April 18, 2023, thoroughly examined 66 epidemiology studies and found that there was generally low study quality and high study heterogeneity, making a meta-analysis not appropriate and cautioning against reliance on previously reported meta-analysis risk estimates.
“AGA has been a leader in advancing safety standards across the industry to help protect customers, communities and employees, while continuing to deliver the reliable energy Americans expect,” said Karen Harbert, AGA president and CEO. “We have an extensive history partnering with the CPSC and other government agencies to enhance safety and efficiency, and today is no different. From providing a scientifically-grounded response to the RFI to fully engaging with the CPSC-led working groups for the past two years, the natural gas industry is focused on action over politics.”
The CPSC-led effort that was established in 2021 was set up to examine the relationship between gas ranges and indoor air quality. Currently, three working groups made up of government, industry, and environmental and health NGOs, all with different backgrounds and interests, meet regularly to advance three key areas: existing industry codes and standards for gas ranges, air concentration guidelines for certain identified emissions from cooking activities, and test procedures for evaluating emissions from gas ranges in light of potential air concentrations.
The comments went on to say: “As for natural gas appliances, AGA and its members have been at the forefront of the development of safety standards and installation codes for more than half a century – since before the creation of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Today, they are instrumental in supporting the continuing development of appliance safety standards and installation codes by national consensus standard making bodies. These voluntary standards are widely adopted throughout North America and help ensure that the gas appliances and equipment available to and installed for consumers are safe, reliable, and efficient.”
Harbert continued: “We have been pleased with the collaborative and constructive process underway with the CPSC working groups, yet recent action at the Commission seems to be working counter to that effort. History demonstrates that AGA and the natural gas industry support appliance safety standards and installation codes based on objective scientific and technical information and an open and transparent process. Customers deserve clear and transparent information about the energy they’re using. This industry remains committed to helping customers get the science-based information they need to ensure the health and safety of their families.”
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About the American Gas Association
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 77 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 96 percent — more than 74 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets nearly one-third of the United States’ energy needs.