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Scientists have found that natural gas that is piped into millions of homes in California contains numerous hazardous air pollutants, according to a new study. The pollutants, including benzene, have been linked to cancer and are entering the homes of millions.

Source: CBS 8 San Diego/YouTube

The researchers estimated that each year, California gas appliances and infrastructure leak the same amount of benzene as is emitted by nearly 60,000 cars. However, these leaks are not accounted for in the state’s records.

The study was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and is another reason why people are pushing even harder for the limit of gas in homes because of its damage to public health and the environment.

Dozens of cities in California and around the country have already banned gas hookups in most new homes and buildings, but there is still a lot of work to do. Studies have found how much indoor air pollution can be harmful to health, and using gas appliances can be extremely harmful.

“Now we also know that even just having a gas appliance in your house can have health and climate impacts,” said Eric Lebel, the study’s lead author.

Thankfully, lawmakers in California seem to be doing something about it. Recently, California air regulators approved the nation’s first commitment to phase out the sale of gas furnaces and water heaters by 2030

The commitment is a part of environmental efforts passed by the board to meet the federal 70 parts per billion, 8-hour ozone standard over the next 15 years.

“We need to take every action we can to deliver on our commitments to protect public health from the adverse impacts of air Pollution, and this strategy identifies how we can do just that,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said. “While this strategy will clean the air for all Californians, it will also lead to reduced emissions in the many low-income and disadvantaged communities that experience greater levels of persistent air Pollution.”

To help minimize your exposure to these pollutants, if you have a gas stove, it is important to open the window while cooking, use exhaust fans, and use air purifiers. While this will release pollutants into the environment and contribute to pollution, it will be better for your health. When given the choice or when purchasing a new stove, try to avoid gas.

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Solution Not Pollution T-Shirt by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

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