Last week, the American Lung Association penned an open memo in support of the All-Electric Building Act (S.562-A/A.920-A). In it, the Association urges the New York state senate and assembly to include the bill in their new One House budget proposals.
The proposal, which seeks to effectively ban gas-powered appliances in residential units, could have a tremendously positive impact on public health if it’s passed. That’s because nearly 19% of childhood asthma cases throughout New York state are directly attributable to the gas stoves in home kitchens, according to some studies. Other studies, like this one from our friends at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), have shown that having a gas stove in the home can increase the presence of asthma symptoms in children by as much as 42%.
The effects are exacerbated among lower income and public housing residents, who often live in smaller, less ventilated residences and bear a disproportionate burden of these effects.
“New Yorkers are dying at the highest rates in the nation from burning fossil fuels in our homes,” said Eric Weltman, Food & Water Watch Senior New York Organizer. “We know that 19 percent of childhood asthma in New York can be attributed to gas stoves, and that communities of color are disproportionately exposed to unhealthy air. We have to do better. The legislature must act now to include the All-Electric Building Act in their One House budget proposals to reduce dangerous fossil fuel emissions that cause deadly lung conditions.”
The American Lung Association, for its part, is the oldest voluntary health organization in the United States with a 115 years-long history of improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy, and research. Their stated goal in supporting New York’s All-Electric Building Act is as noble as it gets: to reduce preventable, premature deaths caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
“We must move away from our reliance on setting fossil fuels on fire inside our homes and buildings. The science couldn’t be more clear. The simple truth is that burning gas inside our homes isn’t only wreaking havoc on our climate, it also turns our living spaces into tailpipes and makes us sick. We know fracked gas is dangerous — it’s high time to end the practice of igniting it inside our homes,” said Biologist Sandra Steingraber, PhD, co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York. “We call on both houses of the legislature to come together and enact a ban on fossil fuels in new buildings now by passing the All-Electric Building Act in the state budget.”
If you’re a New York-based CleanTechnica reader, reach out to your state senators and let them know how you feel … then let us know what you told them, in the comments.
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