Le gaz
Un risque

David Wimberly,
de la Natural Gas
Health Information
Coalition, déclare
que le gaz naturel
a causé plus de
cas de sensibilités
que toute autre
substance, même
plus que les

Des études
récentes ont établi
un lien solide entre
le gaz naturel
intérieur et
des maladies
et de l’asthme. 

On dit que les
cuisinières sont
les plus
mais les radiateurs
les foyers, les
sécheuses, les
fournaises et
les chauffes-eau
peuvent tous avoir
des effets néfaste
et contribuer à la
mauvaise santé. 
Les plus hauts taux
d’asthme et de
maladie au Canada
se trouvent ici, dans les

Investir dans
l’énergie couvre
ses propres frais
et permet en plus
des économies en
coûts de santé;
éviter l'usage du
gaz naturel est
donc critique.





























"... removal
of gas
from homes
resulted in an
of the health
of all family
not just
who were



Natural Gas:
Avoidable Health Hazard

David Wimberly
Natural Gas Health Information Coalition N.S.
October 2000


ant to avoid gassing those you love?
If you value your health, don't burn gas indoors. Natural gas has caused more cases of environmental illness than any other substance, even than pesticides. 


(photo: D. Wimberly)


"...use of domestic gas appliances,
especially gas stoves, was linked to
increased asthma, respiratory illness,
and impaired lung function..."


Recent scientific studies strongly link indoor natural gas use to increased asthma and respiratory illness. If you already have environmental illness or asthma, avoiding natural gas use is crucial. But it is equally important to realize that everyone can lessen the risk of developing illness by avoiding natural gas use. Cook stoves are commonly the worst application, but space heaters, fireplaces, dryers, hot water heaters and furnaces all adversely contribute. The Maritimes have the worst rates of asthma and environmental illness in Canada, so why expose those you love to needless risk?

The introduction of natural gas to the Maritimes is a juggernaut that is difficult to resist as government and business are falling over themselves to promote it. However all the hype just covers up the surprising, awful truth. Government contrived deviously to avoid any evaluation during the rigged environmental assessment of the environmental, social and health effects of the actual USE of natural gas. Why? Because the truth is - it isn't good for the environment to use gas, gas use suppresses, not promotes, truly sustainable energy alternatives and gas is bad for the public's health in indoor uses.

The immediate question facing Maritimers is, "Should I connect my home or business to use
natural gas?" We say that it is a risk better avoided. Leave gas use to electrical generation and heavy industry where it is better than other available alternatives, being both cleaner and less expensive there. Gas pipes and gas combustion inside buildings people inhabit is too great a risk, particularly when we have such better alternatives, such as electric and solar.

(photo: Gascape)


High doses of
contaminates cause
bursts of colors and
often come unpredictably,
but even pure gas harms


Let's focus on health issues (what many consider the most important reasons to resist the forces pushing toward bringing natural gas into our indoor spaces).

Gas triggers environmental illness. The largest survey ever of environmental illness patients concluded, "…of 47,000 patients, the most important sources of indoor pollution responsible for generating (environmental) illness were the gas cook stoves, hot water heaters, and furnaces." writes Dr. Bill Rea, MD, Chair of the Environmental Health Center, Dallas. Dr. T.G. Randolph, MD, writes ". . . for the chemically sensitive individual this gas may be the worst form of fuel." Furthermore Randolph discovered that removal of gas ranges from homes resulted in an improvement of the health of all family members, not just those who were chemically sensitive.

Recent research in the field of asthma and respiratory illness are documenting the risks of natural gas use, but Maritime news media and governments have shockingly ignored these studies. By 1994 the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) had already recommended the replacement of indoor gas appliances and combustion sources, with electrical appliances in order to reduce indoor air pollution.

In 1996 "The Lancet" documented that the use of domestic gas appliances, especially gas stoves, was linked to increased asthma, respiratory illness and impaired lung function, especially in young women. The same study showed that venting the gas stoves did not reduce adverse effects, so don't be fooled by untruthful proponent's claims that gas stoves are fine "if properly vented." A 1999 University of California at San Francisco study documented that using a gas stove seven or more times a week doubled the risk of emergency room treatment for asthma patients, and increased hospitalization and urgent doctor visits, so gas stove use was not recommended. Another recent study found that gas heat (furnace vent or space heater) in a child's bedroom leads to increased development of asthma.

Natural gas is dirty compared to electricity. Studies by the California Institute of Technology and others have found that one breathes gas fumes when cooking. Gas fumes include methane itself, radon and other radioactive materials, BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), organometallic compounds such as methylmercury organoarsenic and organolead, mercaptan odorants, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, fine particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (including formaldehyde), and hundreds of other chemicals. You breathe this when you bend over a gas cook stove, to stir your food or when you open the oven door. It sticks to your food too, so you eat it as well. It sticks to clothes in gas dryers so you are covering your skin in it.

It is lighter than air so it rises up into your living and sleeping areas, concentrating higher up nearer your head. This is one reason why gas is worse than fuel oil, which is heavier than air and thus sinks and which is never used in stoves or dryers, etc. Gas or propane cook stove/ ranges are far and away the worst. Also avoid any other open flames inside, including candles.

Gas combustion generates copious amounts of water vapour contributing to moulds, dust mites, viruses and bacteria, providing a transport mechanism for these and other respirable particulates and volatile organic compounds deep into the lungs and thus into the body.

(photo: NBEN-RENB)

All gas lines eventually leak. Small leaks are typically not detected until they grow much larger, often taking years. These small leaks add a significant constant pollutant load that stresses and wears down immune and other body systems. Many people have trouble even with underground leaks in neighbourhoods as well as from appliance exhausts. Gas leaks even damage plants. Direct and indirect costs of illness are extremely high.

Fortunately we have much better alternatives today. While a full description would be the subject of another article, in brief, cooking electrically is the most crucial. Maximize solar and insulation and ensure proper ventilation. Electric heat is cleanest, after solar. Electric water heaters are best. For small family (2-3 persons) households or the conservation minded they are even cheapest. For existing oil appliances (or gas or propane), isolate them from the shell of the building by enclosing them in a properly sized vapour tight space with dedicated direct outside air intake and an outside vent. Do this in addition to purchasing only direct outside air intake appliances with forced exhaust to a chimney above the roof line. Your local "experts" will say the enclosed space is redundant and that a side vent is fine, but don't believe it. Be safe. The standards of safety for these appliances were not set considering the needs of those with environmental illness, nor do they take into effect the recent data on asthma and other respiratory illness. No venting system is at all effective enough for it to be safe to use gas for washers, driers, air conditioners, lighting, refrigerators, fireplaces, barbecues and most especially cook stoves.

The most informed sources have documented that the savings in energy costs of gas as compared to oil would only be slim and years in the future, if at all. Gas is cheaper than electricity, but electricity is the cleanest energy of all inside the home (except for solar). Investing in clean energy more than pays for itself in health expense savings. Health is priceless. So why even consider squandering it for a few pennies?