Asking for the binary "do you currently have a gas stove?" elides a lot of important information. People move around. A previous residence with a poorly ventilated gas stove can cause lasting damage that persists after you move somewhere else. As it did in my case. The A/(A+B) * B/(B+D)

calculation could just as easily be an underestimate as an overestimate. I avoid gas stoves in new residences BECAUSE of my asthma, so I personally contribute to making that calculation more underestimate-y

Expand full comment

You write that the PAF is A/(A+B) * B/(B+D) where

A.) gas stove, no asthma

B.) gas stove, asthma

C.) no gas stove, no asthma

D.) no gas stove, asthma

This formula doesn't make sense to me. Suppose that gas stoves and asthma were completely unrelated: gas stoves happen at random with probability p and asthma happens at random with probability q, independently. Then this formula gives

p(1-q)/p * pq/q = (1-q)*p

when it should give 0.

What am I missing?

Expand full comment

Could the birth defect result around induction stoves actually be real? How would that work?

Expand full comment

Great stuff, Sarah. Thank you for looking into this -- too bad most people won't get past the headlines.

I linked to your piece in my intro today here:


Cheers πŸ’š πŸ₯ƒ

Expand full comment

As I've said (https://thezvi.substack.com/p/on-cooking-with-gas/comment/12167026), I'm, let's charitably say, really surprised that it is respiratory problems we discuss about the things whose chance to create fires and explosions is noticeably higher.

Expand full comment

I find it unlikely that gas stoves could actually cause asthma. Asthma is a disease of chronic inflammation, a disease that is part of the "atopic march" (atopic dermatitis and subsequent allergic rhinitis and asthma) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25419479/.

The single most important predictor, at least for allergic rhinitis but I suspect also for asthma and dermatitis is...surprisingly...birth order. A first born child has a far higher probability of being afflicted with these conditions than a second born one...even in the same household. There is something different that happens in early childhood, only with the first born, that appears to be the primary cause. This is something I plan to write about in detail eventually.

Expand full comment