Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Simmering Sauces! Elevated Formaldehyde Concentrations from Gas Stove Burners



Dustin G. Poppendieck, Mengyan Gong


Formaldehyde is listed as a human carcinogen, and can be formed as a primary by-product during combustion processes. Past studies have not detected elevated formaldehyde concentrations from gas stoves, perhaps due to the time averaging nature of previous sampling campaigns or because the burners were operated at a high setting.1 In this research we used a real-time formaldehyde monitor to show that simmering of a gas burner can increase indoor formaldehyde concentrations above the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) Acute Reference Exposure Level (REL). Average ambient kitchen formaldehyde concentrations with one or more simmering burners and no kitchen hood exhaust increased 60 ug m-3 to 100 ug m-3 above pre-simmering levels. Concentrations varied with time and location in the kitchen during burner operation. Peaks concentrations were up to 830 ug m-3 above pre-simmering, and didn’t necessarily occur in front of stove.
Proceedings Title
Indoor Air 2018
Conference Dates
July 22-27, 2018
Conference Location
Philadelphia, PA


Cooking, Natural Gas, Combustion, Formaldehyde, Source, Peak Concentrations


Poppendieck, D. and Gong, M. (2018), Simmering Sauces! Elevated Formaldehyde Concentrations from Gas Stove Burners, Indoor Air 2018, Philadelphia, PA, [online], (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created July 21, 2018, Updated September 29, 2020