According to NPR climate and energy correspondent Jeff Brady, stove manufacturers developed a cleaner and more efficient burner for gas ranges over four decades ago—in order to combat indoor air pollution and protect homeowner health—but they were never added to appliances for sale. The manufacturers and gas industry allies cited cost, durability, cleanliness, and demand as the reasons why they didn’t make it to market. Now, as industry associations, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Department of Energy, tighten regulations on gas inside homes, will the industry see a shift in gas-based appliances?
In the 1980s indoor air quality was in the news, and the CPSC was taking aim at another home appliance that burns fossil fuels: kerosene heaters. Sales were increasing, and regulators grew concerned, because the heaters emitted harmful pollution into homes, mainly nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.
The EPA says both pollutants can cause breathing problems, especially for people with asthma. And nitrogen dioxide, at higher levels and over longer periods, may contribute to developing asthma.
The natural gas industry saw regulators' interest and worried the CPSC might come for gas cooking stoves next, according to a 1984 Science News article. That prompted two industry research groups to begin working on burner improvements.
Out of that process emerged a "jet-powered infrared gas-range burner."Read More