John Wenger, Professor of Chemistry at UCC, joined Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1 to discuss the connection between gas cookers and indoor pollution. Listen back above.
A recent European Health report highlights the connection between cooking on gas and indoor pollution and a subsequent rise in cases of asthma. Similarly, in the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has raised concerns around the link between gas cooking and asthma, with some cities banning gas hobs in new developments.
So, how safe is the gas hob?
According to Wenger, an expert on pollutants and ventilation, any "combustion process" is going to create pollutants.
"Burning gas actually produces some toxic gases, one of those is called nitrogen dioxide and it irritates the respiratory tract and can affect those with asthma, so it does affect those with respiratory problems" he explains.
"In fact, a large review of all the indoor air pollution studies has recently found that those living at home with a gas stove have a 42% increased chance of experiencing asthma symptoms."
If you are cooking with gas you are putting pollutants into the air, which means that ventilation and extraction are vital.
"There were some tests performed in a European lab where they cooked typical meals in a kitchen every day and they measured the pollution. The measured pollution was over the WHO-recommended outdoor limits every single day.
"This was a situation where there was no extraction fan being used. If you have an extraction fan and some added ventilation as well, this will really help clear the air of those pollutants."
If you're cooking with gas, you need an extraction fan. However, if you're in the market for a new setup, Wagner says that cooking with electricity is the "cleanest way" as there is an increasing amount of electricity provided by renewable energy sources.
To listen to Wenger's full interview with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1, listen back above.