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Expert: Gas Stoves are a Health Concern, Evidence Shows

Researcher Tackling Issue is Available for Interviews

UMass Lowell Research Prof. of Economics David Turcotte Photo by Adrien Bisson
UMass Lowell's David Turcotte is an environmental justice expert available for interviews.


Media contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations and Nancy Cicco, assistant director of media relations,

While the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission this week walked back a report saying the agency would seek to ban household gas stoves due to health concerns over emissions, a UMass Lowell expert on the issue maintained “adequate evidence” of ill-health effects exists to take action.

“Industry groups will push back and fight any proposal to ban gas stove use. Consequently, it will likely be difficult for the commission to ban it outright immediately, but there are other things they can – and should – do,” said researcher David Turcotte, an authority on sustainability and environmental justice who is studying how pollutants emitted from gas stoves, among other factors, affect the asthma rate among people living in public and subsidized rental housing. The initiative, known as the Healthy Homes Program, is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

States in the Northeast have some of the highest asthma rates in the country, while asthma and other respiratory diseases disproportionately affect people of color and low-income residents, says Turcotte, who can talk about the reasons why. People age 65 and older who have the disease are the most likely to die as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Turcotte is also available to discuss:

  • What his research has shown so far
  • Mitigation measures the Consumer Product Safety Commission could take to address airborne pollutants from gas stove use 
  • Strategies homeowners with gas stoves can use to reduce their exposure to emissions 

Turcotte is also a national expert in providing workplace health-and-safety training to first responders. As director of the New England Consortium at UMass Lowell (TNEC), he leads programs for hazardous-materials remediation workers who are cleaning up after natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the consortium expanded its reach to offer employee training programs to help stem the spread of the virus in the workplace. 

Turcotte is an economics research professor at UMass Lowell, where he is also a steering committee member of the university’s Climate Change Initiative. To arrange an interview with him, contact Emily Gowdey-Backus or Nancy Cicco