The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission on Wednesday said it is asking the public for information on any hazards associated with gas stoves and possible solutions, marking what could be a step toward regulating the appliances.
The commission approved a formal request for Information on the topic, Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said in a statement on Wednesday.
The request asks for research that links gas stoves to health issues including childhood asthma and seeks possible solutions, as well as the costs and feasibility of those options.
Requests for information are a common step taken by the federal government ahead of taking regulatory action as part of an effort to gauge what the impacts of possible regulations could be. But such a request doesn’t necessarily guarantee further action.
The request comes after Trumka, a Biden appointee, had floated further regulations or even a possible ban on gas stoves. The latter sparked a firestorm in Washington with many Republicans opposing the idea of a ban.
After the backlash, Commission chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric, also appointed by Biden, said that he was not looking to ban gas stoves and that the commission didn’t have any proceedings to do so.
However, this does not take other regulations off the table. Advocates have pointed to technology aimed at limiting releases of pollution or warning labels informing people of the stoves’ health impacts as other measures that could be taken.
Trumka has, in the past, pointed to pollution coming from the stoves as a reason to regulate. Recent studies have found that gas stoves can emit substances that are harmful to human health.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is made up of three Biden appointees and one Trump appointee.