Cooking and heating with gas could make asthma sufferers more prone to attacks, British researchers said Friday.

Asthma sufferers exposed to house-dust mite, a common asthma irritant, were more likely to have an attack when high levels of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant given off by gas, were present than when they breathed in purer air, they said.Dr. John Ayres of Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham said the test he and colleagues carried out on known asthma sufferers used levels of nitrogen oxide similar to those found in homes after a big meal had been cooked on a gas stove.

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Other combination causes for asthma were known, such as grass pollen with ozone, but these were seasonal problems, unlike gas. Nitrogen dioxide on its own had no effect on asthma sufferers, Ayres told Reuters.

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