It's a gas - the truth

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There is an excellent look at the source for this foolishness at A Chemist in Langley

Are Gas Stoves Really Responsible for 12.7% of Current Childhood Asthma Cases in the US?
The news has been full recently with stories about the risk of childhood asthma caused by natural gas stoves. As someone who specializes in risk assessment and has experience with indoor air chemistry this seemed like it was right up my alley. As I went digging through the research; however, I discovered that the research seemed less about providing a good scientific examination of the topic and and more about generating a lot of headlines and press discussion of the topic.

The furor is all derived from a recent study published in an open-source journal called Population Attributable Fraction of Gas Stoves and Childhood Asthma in the United States (Gruenwald et al., 2022). The paper itself doesn’t present any new data but rather applies a rather arcane type of mathematical attribution analysis (Population Attributable Fraction or PAF) to the results from a ten-year-old meta-analysis that summarized work from the 80’s and 90’s. Needless to say, the paper absolutely doesn’t advance the science in any useful manner and appears designed instead to induce political change rather than inform policy.

Blair goes in to a lot of the reasons why this is a bad study - they used a bad statistical tool to do the analysis and they cherry-picked the data.  Cherry-picking to the extent that they ignored the definitive research paper on this very subject:

By making this editorial choice the authors managed to exclude the definitive research on the topic: Cooking fuels and prevalence of asthma: a global analysis of phase three of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). The ISAAC study was

a unique worldwide epidemiological research program established in 1991 to investigate asthma, rhinitis and eczema in children due to considerable concern that these conditions were increasing in western and developing countries. ISAAC became the largest worldwide collaborative research project ever undertaken, involving more than 100 countries and nearly 2 million children and its aim to develop environmental measures and disease monitoring in order to form the basis for future interventions to reduce the burden of allergic and non-allergic diseases, especially in children in developing countries

The ISAAC study collected data from 512,7070 students between 1999 and 2004. It has incredible statistical power due to its massive sample size and one of its signature conclusions was:

we detected no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.

Like I said, cherry picking.  They are pushing the narrative and not doing real science.

Just as a heads up, this kind of activity is also prevalent in "climate science" these days.
They are just as shameless.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on January 21, 2023 2:53 PM.

Listening to the kitchen sink - SIGpi was the previous entry in this blog.

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