Hot & Toxic – The Toxic Reality of “Natural” Gas

Yes, gas stoves are dangerous. Make sure their health risks are added to warning labels!

You may have heard by now that so-called “natural” gas is a hot mess. It’s actually methane, which is cooking the climate and polluting the air inside your home, releasing harmful chemicals that can cause asthma and respiratory symptoms in children.

Unfortunately, millions of Americans are diving into long-term relationships with dangerous gas appliances without being warned about their harms. Gas stoves release toxic pollutants like cancer-causing benzene and asthma-causing nitrogen dioxide. And the fossil fuel industry has known about the health threats of gas stoves for decades, even while telling the public that gas is clean and safe. The American Gas Association went so far as to hire Tobacco industry experts to undermine the science showing the harms of gas stoves.

That’s why ‘Hot & Toxic', the largest-ever effort to inform and empower consumers about the dangers of methane gas, is asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to require gas stove manufacturers and retailers to put appropriate warning labels on gas stoves. Consumers deserve accurate information about the health and environmental risks associated with gas stoves. Since the Commission is in charge of keeping consumers safe through product recalls and warning labels, it’s important that the public understand the health risks of using gas stovetops.

In fact, more than 50 studies dating back to the 1970s have documented that pollution from burning gas contributes to asthma and respiratory disease in children. Studies show that children who grow up in a home with a gas stove have a 42% higher risk of developing asthma, and that gas stoves leak methane and cancer-causing benzene, even when they’re turned off. Doctors and scientists at the American Medical Association, American Lung Association, and American Public Health Association have all spoken out about these health risks.

People deserve access to accurate information about the health impacts of products they’re buying. By requiring labels on gas stoves, the Commission can help empower consumers to make informed choices that better protect their health and the environment. Don’t be gaslit by gas stoves — consider taking action by signing the petition today!

Sign the petition

People deserve accurate information about the health impacts of products they buy, including gas stoves. The Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps the public safe through product recalls and warning labels. Tell them to require warning labels on gas stoves!

Benzene for breakfast? Study finds gas stoves produce toxins linked to cancer

We know that the “natural” gas in millions of American homes is mostly methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that’s worsening the climate crisis. But it turns out that may not even be the worst thing coming out of your gas stove.

A new study from researchers at PSE Healthy Energy found benzene – a widely recognized carcinogen linked to leukemia and lymphoma – as well as an array of other toxins linked to birth defects and cognitive impairment. Benzene was found in 99% of samples, which were taken in the kitchens of 159 homes serviced by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), and San Diego Gas and Electric.

Shockingly, the research shows that it didn’t even take using a gas stove to compromise the air inside our homes — gas stoves leak even when they’re turned off. Researchers found that “in certain cases, just having a gas stove in your kitchen could create benzene concentrations comparable to secondhand (tobacco) smoke.”

Andrea De Vizcaya Ruiz, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of California, Irvine, told NBC News that prolonged exposure to benzene was a huge health threat. “It’s one of the most direct chemicals that induces cancer, because it transforms the cells in the bone marrow,” she said.

This is just the latest in a growing body of research showing that piping an explosive, toxic fossil fuel into our homes is a public health threat:

  • A June study of Boston-area homes by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found benzene and 20 other toxins in the gas in peoples’ homes. One in 20 of the homes surveyed in the study had gas leaks that required followup from the gas utility due to health and safety concerns.

  • A January study by Stanford University found that 80 percent of methane leaks from stoves occur when they’re turned off. Tellingly, the study found that the age and model of the gas stove didn’t matter much – they looked at 18 brands of cooktops ranging from 3 to 30 years old and found that all of them leak.

  • An April 2020 study from University of California – Los Angeles found that using a gas stove and burner for about an hour produced levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide that would be illegal if measured outdoors.

  • A 2013 analysis of more than 40 studies found that children growing up in a home with a gas stove had a 42% higher risk of experiencing asthma symptoms.

The findings only increase the urgency of the need to rapidly transition to cleaner, safer electric appliances in our homes. The United States took an important step towards that goal this year with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which included a host of programs to help people get off fossil fuels in their homes, including:

  • Funding to help more than 1 million low and middle-income families upgrade to electric appliances.

  • Tax credits that allow people to deduct up to 30 percent of the cost of upgrades to their homes on their taxes.

  • Funding to help bolster domestic manufacturing of electric heat pumps, which are in high demand right now.

But this progress is at risk. The New York Times reported last week that the American Gas Association — a gas industry lobbying group funded by gas utilities with their customers’ money — is preparing to undercut and roll back the clean energy investments in the IRA in the next Congress. Slowing the transition to electric appliances would keep millions of Americans trapped in homes with appliances that are linked to cancer and while the gas industry continues to collect  record profits for their investors .

What Can I Do?

Thanks to the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, there’s an array of tax credits and rebates that can help you offset the upfront costs of upgrading to electric appliances. But we know that not everyone is in a position to immediately make that change. See below for a range of actions you can take.

Open a window and use your vent fan!

Gas stoves release toxic air pollutants in your kitchen. The first step is to get them out as quickly as possible. If you can, open a window to increase airflow in your kitchen.

If your kitchen comes with a vent fan, you should always use it. This isn’t a perfect solution, as many homes are built with vents that recirculate air into your walls or other parts of the home. But every bit of fresh air helps.

Get To Know Your Home Appliances

Most of us don’t think twice about our home appliances, but they could invite a toxic roommate into our homes. Your stove, furnace, water heater, and even your washer and dryer might run on “natural” gas. Take five minutes to check if your home appliances run on clean electricity or explosive, toxic methane!

Buy a countertop induction stove

While replacing your gas stove with a cleaner, safer, more efficient electric option is the best option, the upfront costs of new appliances can be considerable. Luckily there are now dozens of affordable and portable electric cooktops available that can plug into any electrical outlet! Entry level options are less than $100.

Go all-electric!

Modern electric appliances do everything gas ones do, without the need for toxic methane in your home. Induction stoves use less energy, boil water faster, and are easier to clean up than gas stoves. And all-electric heat pumps reduce monthly energy bills and reduce climate pollution from your home. 

Be sure to take advantage of the credits and rebates available through the Inflation Reduction Act, including up to $840 for induction stoves, $8,000 for electric heat pumps and $4,000 for electrical system upgrades in your home.

Get the Facts

You may have heard the news by now: “natural” gas is a hot mess. It is cooking the climate, polluting the air inside your home and constantly at risk of a dramatic and deadly explosion.

Gas is anything but “natural” — it’s mostly methane, a superpollutant that warms the planet more than 80 times as much as carbon dioxide. But that’s not all that your gas stove or furnace is letting into your home.

Researchers took samples of gas stoves and found 21 types of toxic air pollutants that can cause an alarming array of health problems. Shockingly, many of these pollutants were found even when the gas stove was turned off!

Benzene (C6H6)

Benzene causes cancer, including leukemia, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s one of the most harmful toxins found in cigarettes, and it’s also present in “natural” gas. Researchers found that using a gas stove produces as much cancer-causing benzene as living with a smoker.

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas produced by the incomplete burning of “natural” gas, and it’s deadly. It’s the reason many of our homes come with carbon monoxide detectors. At least 1,200 people a year die of carbon monoxide poisoning, and gas stoves are a leading source.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO)

Nitrogen Dioxide harms your lungs, and contributes to respiratory disease and asthma. Nitrogen dioxide is one of the byproducts of burning “natural” gas. Studies have shown that nitrogen dioxide from gas stoves gives children a 42% higher chance of developing asthma.

Formaldehyde (CH2O)

You know the chemical they use to preserve dead bodies? If you’ve got a gas stove it may also be in the air inside your home, as researchers documented elevated levels in homes that use gas. Formaldehyde irritates the throat, lungs and eyes , and long-term exposure can cause cancer.

Hexane (C6H6)

Hexane is nothing you want inside your home. It is found in cleaning products, paint and as an additive in gasoline. Exposure to hexane causes dizziness, nausea, headaches and chronic nerve problems, including potential paralysis of arms and legs.

Privacy Policy

Gas Leaks Project is a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA).

Last Updated – May 24, 2022

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (“RPA” or We“) respect your privacy and are committed to handling your personal information in a safe and responsible manner and protecting it through our compliance with this Privacy Policy (“Policy”).

It is important that you read this Policy, together with any other privacy or fair processing policy we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing your personal information, so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your personal information.

This Policy describes the types of personal information we may collect from you or that you may provide when you visit the website (our “Website“), and our practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting, and disclosing that information.

Personal Information We Collect About You

“Personal information” is information relating to you or other individuals from which you or they can be identified.

We collect several types of personal information from and about users of our Website, including information about:

  • How to contact you, such as name, postal address, e-mail address, and telephone number.
  • Your workplace, such as position title, organizational affiliations and similar information.
  • Your internet connection, the equipment you use to access our Website and usage details – see further in the “Automatic Data Collection Technologies” section below.

How We Collect Your Personal Information

We collect your personal information directly from you when you provide it to us. This will include personal information you provide:

  • When filling in forms on our Website. This includes when you sign up for more information or for our newsletters, for events, to interact with various tools or to be part of specific communities; and request material, further information or services.
  • When you report a problem with our Website or contact us for any other purpose.
  • When you respond to surveys that we might ask you to complete for research purposes through our Website.
  • When you input queries using the “search” function on the Website.
  • When you provide information to be published or displayed on public areas of the Website, or transmitted to other users of the Website or third parties.

We also collect your personal information through our use of automatic data collection technologies – see further in the “Automatic Data Collection Technologies” section below.

We may also collect or receive personal information about you from various third parties and public sources, including but not limited to:

  • Technical Data from the following parties: analytics providers, such as Google and search information providers.
  • Contact, financial and transaction data from providers of payment and delivery services.

Automatic Data Collection Technologies

As you navigate through and interact with our Website, we may use automatic data collection technologies to collect certain information from and about your equipment, browsing actions, and patterns, including:

  • Details of your visits to our Website, including traffic data, location data, logs, and other communication data and the resources that you access and use on the Website.
  • Information about your computer and internet connection, including your IP address, operating system, and browser type.

“Do Not Track” – Certain laws, including that of California, require that we inform you on our response to Do Not Track signals. As there is not an industry or legal standard for recognizing or honoring these signals at this time, we don’t respond to them.

The information we collect automatically is statistical data we may use to improve our Website and to deliver a better and more personalized service, including by enabling us to:

  • Estimate our audience size and usage patterns.
  • Store information about preferences, allowing us to customize our Website according to individual interests.
  • Speed up searches.
  • Recognize you when you return to our Website.

The technologies we use for this automatic data collection may include:

  • Cookies (or browser cookies). A cookie is a small file placed on the hard drive of your computer. You may refuse to accept browser cookies by activating the appropriate setting on your browser. However, if you select this setting you may be unable to access certain parts of our Website. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies when you direct your browser to our Website.
  • Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Website may use local stored objects (or Flash cookies) to collect and store information about your preferences and navigation to, from, and on our Website. Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies. For information about managing your privacy and security settings for Flash cookies, see the “Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Personal Information” section below.
  • Web Beacons. Pages of our Website and our e-mails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that permit RPA, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain website content and verifying system and server integrity).


How We Use Your Personal Information

We have set out below the purposes for which we use your personal information. RPA is required under EU and UK data protection law to identify a legal basis for using your personal information – we have highlighted these in brackets below:

  • To present our Website and its contents to you (to achieve our legitimate interest in making this content available to you in an effective way).
  • To provide you with information, products, or services that you request from us (with your consent).
  • To carry out any other of our obligations and enforce our rights arising from any contracts entered into between you and us, including for billing and collection (to perform our contract with you; to achieve our legitimate interests of being able to manage our finances and operations and to comply with our legal or statutory obligations in relation to keeping financial and other business records).
  • To notify you about changes to our Website or any products or services we offer or provide though it (to achieve our legitimate interest in ensuring we provide our services to you effectively).
  • To allow you to participate in interactive features on our Website (to achieve our legitimate interest in ensuring we provide our services to you effectively).
  • To contact you about events, convenings and information that may be of interest to you (with your consent).
  • In the manner set out in the “Disclosure of Your Personal Information” section below.

If you do not provide RPA with the personal information required to perform our contract with you or comply with our legal or statutory obligations (highlighted as such in the list above), we may not be able to provide those relevant services to you. If you consent to RPA’s use of your personal information and this consent forms the legal basis of our processing of that personal information, you are entitled to withdraw it at any time – see the “Your Rights With Respect To Your Personal Information” section below for more detail.

Disclosure of Your Personal Information

We may disclose personal information that we collect or that you provide as described in this Policy:

  • To our subsidiaries and affiliates (the “RPA Group”) to provide you with requested services.
  • To contractors, service providers, and other third parties we use to support our business and who are bound by contractual obligations, to keep personal information confidential and use it only for the purposes for which we disclose it to them and in accordance with our instructions.
  • To a buyer or other successor in the event of a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of RPA’s assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding.
  • To comply with any court order, law, or legal process, including to respond to any government or regulatory request.
  • To enforce or apply our terms of use and other agreements, including for billing and collection purposes.
  • If we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property, or safety of RPA, our customers, or others.
  • To other identified parties who we inform you about from time to time.

Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Personal Information

We strive to provide you with choices regarding the personal information you provide to us. We have created mechanisms to provide you with the following control over your personal information:

  • Tracking Technologies and Advertising. You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. To learn how you can manage your Flash cookie settings, visit the Flash player settings page on Adobe’s website. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this site may then be inaccessible or not function properly.
  • Offers from RPA. If you do not wish to have your email address/contact information used by RPA to notify you of upcoming events or for our newsletter or other services, you can opt-out by checking the relevant box located on the form on which we collect your data or by sending us an email stating your request to If we have sent you a promotional email, you may send us a return email asking to be omitted from future email distributions. This opt out does not apply to information provided to RPA as a result of a service engagement or other transactions.

Your Rights With Respect To Your Personal Information

If our processing of your personal information is subject to EU and UK data protection law, you have a number of rights.  These include, in certain circumstances:

  • To ask us not to process your personal information, including where RPA is using it for direct marketing purposes.
  • To receive a copy of all your personal information held by RPA, in order to check we are processing it lawfully.
  • To ask us to correct any errors in your personal information.
  • To ask us to delete your personal information, including when exercising your right to object to processing (see above), unless we have a compelling reason to continue with such processing.
  • To ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain situations (such as where there is an outstanding question you have raised regarding its accuracy).
  • To ask us to transfer your personal information to another party, where we have collected it from you to perform a contract or are processing it on the basis of your consent.
  • To withdraw your consent where you have provided it for RPA’s collection or use of your personal information for a specific purpose, subject to certain conditions.

You may exercise these rights at any time by contacting RPA using the details in the “Contact Information” section of this Policy.

We may not be able to accommodate a request relating to your personal information in certain circumstances prescribed by law. Please contact us using the details in the “Contact Information” section of this Policy if you would like more information.

Data Retention

We will only retain your personal information for as long as reasonably necessary to fulfil the purposes for which we use it, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or reporting requirements. We may retain your personal information for a longer period in the event of a complaint or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation in respect to our relationship with you.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal information, we consider the amount, nature and sensitivity of the personal information, the potential risk of harm from unauthorized use or disclosure of your personal information, the purposes for which we process your personal information and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or other requirements.

EU located individuals:  International Transfers

We share your personal information within the RPA Group. For our clients and individuals with whom we deal who are located in Europe and the UK, this may involve transferring your personal information outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and UK to countries whose laws are not deemed to provide a level of protection for personal information that is of the same standard as enjoyed under data protection law in Europe and the UK.

We ensure your personal information is protected by requiring all of our group companies to follow the same rules when processing your personal information. We may also share your personal information with contractors, service providers and other third parties supporting our business when needed.  Many of these third parties are based outside of the EEA and the UK, so their processing of your personal information will involve a transfer of data outside of the EEA and UK.

Whenever we transfer your personal information out of the EEA or UK whether internally within our group or externally to other parties, we ensure proper protection is afforded to it by ensuring at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:

  • We will only transfer your personal information to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal information by the European Commission.
  • We may use specific standard contract clauses approved by the European Commission or UK Information Commissioner’s Office (also conducting any required transfer impact assessment and, if necessary, implementing supplementary measures) to make sure that the transferred personal information is given an appropriate level of protection in accordance with applicable data protection law when being processed outside the EEA or UK.

Alternatively, in certain circumstances we may transfer personal information outside the EEA or UK relying on specific derogations under applicable EU and UK data protection law, including where you (or the relevant individual) have provided your (or their) explicit, informed consent to the transfer; the transfer is necessary for the purposes of being able to enter into or perform a contract with you (or another individual) at your (or their) request; or, the transfer is needed in connection with a legal claim (or possible legal claim).

Please contact us if you want further information on the specific mechanisms used by us when transferring your personal information out of the EEA or UK.

Data Security

We have implemented measures designed to secure your personal information from accidental loss and from unauthorized access, use, alteration, and disclosure. For example, all information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers behind firewalls.  In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know.  They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

The safety and security of your information also depends on you. Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password for access to certain parts of our Website, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone. We urge you to be careful about giving out information in public areas of the Website like message boards. The information you share in public areas may be viewed by any user of the Website.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information transmitted to our Website. Any transmission of personal information is at your own risk. To the fullest extent legally permitted, we are not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the Website.

Changes to Our Policy

We may revise and update this Policy from time to time in our sole discretion. All changes are effective immediately when we post them, and apply to all access to and use of the Website and handling of your personal information thereafter.  It is our policy to post any changes we make to our Policy on this page. If we make material changes to how we treat our users’ personal information, we will notify you through a notice on the Website home page. The date the Policy was last revised is identified at the top of the page.

Contact Information

To ask questions or comment about this Policy and our privacy practices or if you are based in Europe or the UK and wish to exercise your rights under data protection law as described above, please contact us at:

Address:          Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

6 West 48th St.

New York, NY 10036


Before we can respond, we may need to ask you to verify your identity and/or clarify the nature and scope of your request.


If you are concerned about how RPA uses your personal information and we are unable to resolve your issue, you have the right to make a complaint to the supervisory authority in your place of work or residence or the place in which the relevant infringement has taken place.