Gas Heaters

Research shows that gas fumes from unflued heaters in schools increase the incidence of asthma attacks in children Children in classrooms with unflued gas heaters lose more days of school due to asthma and have more days and nights with difficult breathing.

In Australia, two thirds of  homes tested, had levels of nitrogen dioxide  higher than the World Health Organisation (WHO) acceptable level.

Ironically, the levels of nitrogen dioxide indoors are very much higher than the levels caused by air pollution outdoors. On average  levels for nitrogen dioxide indoors are 10 times higher than they are outdoors, and some of the levels go up to seven times higher than the World Health Organisation's safe level.

The Clean Air Association of Australia and NZ, has warned the Federal Government that the air in homes with unflued gas heaters was unsafe. The problem with unflued gas heaters, is that there is no flue to take the noxious gases away, and the higher levels of nitrogen dioxide are a risk for asthmatics.

Some gas heater manufactures are now producing ‘low nox’ models, but the recent study conducted by Len Ferrari for the Environment Department is expected to challenge even the best ‘low nox’ heaters..

The best measure is to ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the room where the unflued gas heater is, whether it is at home or school.

Gas heaters may aggravate asthma in some children, but are not necessarily the cause of the asthma in the first place.  Gas heaters should be added to the list of asthma triggers.