GE appliance maker sued over failing to share gas stove pollution risks

U.S. PIRG has sued a GE affiliate claiming it has failed to address alledged health effects from gas stoves - Photo by UnSplash +

Recent studies have highlighted the health risks associated with nitrogen dioxide exposure

Haier U.S. Appliance Solutions, the manufacturer behind all of GE’s appliances, is facing claims that its gas stoves pose a health risk to consumers. 

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, a consumer advocacy group, is suing the company for allegedly failing to inform customers about the health risks that are associated with the pollutants that come from gas stoves

The organization is asking Haier U.S. Appliance Solutions to up its education game with consumers. Rather than seeking damages, the organization wants the GE appliance maker to spread awareness about the health risks associated with gas stoves and share ways that consumers can protect themselves from pollutants. 

“Gas stoves can be harmful to our health when used as directed, but this crucial information is not broadly available to the public,” said Abe Scarr, energy and utilities program director at U.S. PIRG. “Our testing found results consistent with decades of research documenting health-harming pollution from gas stoves. Consumers have a right to know, and manufacturers are obligated to disclose these risks.” 

The latest data

In addition to the most recent study that was published on the health risks associated with gas stove pollutants, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund has published its own data on the subject. 

Earlier this year, the organization released its second national secret shopper survey, which found that some of the biggest retailers are failing to share the health risks of gas stoves with shoppers. 

The survey found that over 75% of store associates were either unaware of the health risks associated with gas stoves or told shoppers there weren’t any health risks associated with them. Additionally, less than one-quarter of associates surveyed shared accurate health information on gas stoves, and 16% recommended a gas stove when customers shared health concerns. 

On top of that, the survey found that few retailers are even displaying electric stove models, and the large majority aren’t sharing ways for consumers to protect themselves from gas stove pollutants. 

Recent studies have suggested that gas stoves can emit pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, linked to asthma, lung cancer, and up to 19,000 deaths annually in the U.S.

A GE issue

In addition to the survey, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund looked into GE’s appliances specifically, and claimed that they’re particularly concerning for consumers’ health. 

Two of the company’s gas stoves produced nitrogen dioxide in figures that exceeded safe indoor pollution levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health Canada, and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

“There is a substantial body of scientific evidence that gas stoves routinely expose unwitting families to potentially dangerous levels of indoor air pollution,” Scarr said. “We all deserve to be made aware of the risks associated with products so we can make informed purchasing decisions and take steps to protect our health.” 

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