Women are exposed to smoke for several hours each day (BP40, Practical Action)
More than half the world’s population still depend on solid fuels (coal, wood, agriculturalresidues etc.) to meet their energy needs (WHO 2008). Using solid fuels on traditional open fires results in high levels of IndoorAirPollution resulting in 1.6 million deaths per year (one death every 20 seconds). This is higher than the number of deaths caused by malaria each year (WHO 2002).

Cooking on traditional open and three-stone fires results in large amounts of smoke being produced containing carcinogenic particulates and carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is produced due to the incomplete combustion of fuel, levels of carbon monoxide up to 20 times higher than acceptable WHO guidelines have been recorded as emissions from these traditional cooking methods. A further health risk from cooking methods particularly open fires which are not contained is burns. Women and children are most at risk from poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and burns as women carry out most of the cooking, whilst small children remain close to their mothers. 59% of all indoor pollution-attributed deaths fall on females whilst 56% occur in children under 5 years of age.

Indoor air pollution is responsible for 2.7% of the global burden for disease. The ImpactsOfPoorIAQ are respiratory illness including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, tuberculosis, perinatal outcomes including low birth weight, and eye diseases.

IndoorAirPollutionandHealth (IAP) is a major problem and reducing air pollution is critical for achieving the MDGs (see HowToReduceIndoorAirPollutants). It affects child mortality (MDG 4) and gender equality (MDG 3). In 2006 The 14th session of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD14) took place in New York, WHO, GTZ, the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, Practical Action and the US Environmental Protection Agency organised a joint side event entitled "4000 deaths a day from cooking fires? Lets prevent them!". The aim being make a case for the urgent need to improve access to household energy among the poor. This was followed up a year later at CSD15.

It is evident that immediate and ongoing action is required to address indoor air pollution. However, it is important that we act EnsuringSustainability in order to meet the users needs and providing long term solutions addressing the health and financing needs of the user as well as considering environmental impact and marketing issues for the alternative technology proposed.

Links to information about HouseholdSmokeMonitoring provides information based on work by Practical Action in how to effectively reduce smoke emissions.

Further Resources:

Name Type
Technical team from NGO 'Horizon Nature' want to visit working project on improved cookstoves
The technical team from NGO Horizon Nature would like to visit a project which has experience of producing, selling & sensibilizing communuties for the use of the improved stoves for their many advant
TERI-ITEC Course, INDIA: Designing & Implementing Solar Energy Projects for Rural Communities
The course aims to build the capacity of organizations and individuals from developing countries, enabling them to apply the enhanced knowledge and skills in large-scale generation of sustainable live
The 21st issue of the PCIA Bulletin is out now!
The 21st issue focuses on Stove Testing Protocols, Facilities and Standards Development. It provides an overview of the history & current status of stove performance testing protocols & highlights reg
The Ashden Awards: 2009 winners announced
The world’s leading green energy prize awarded over £200,000 in prizes to 7 international schemes that are saving thousands of tonnes in carbon emissions & benefiting communities around the globe.
The Concept of Energy Poverty
Is energy poverty the same as income poverty? Is energy poverty based on access to energy services such as cooking, communications or lighting? Or is it based on quantities of energy that people use?
The good and bad of charcoal use in Nigeria
"The truth is that with just N50, I can get enough charcoal to prepare food for my family. I cannot say the same with kerosene.....I find charcoal very convenient," a customer at a busy charcoal sale
The Nepal Trust - Working with Health, Community Development and hope in the 'Hidden Himalayas'
"The Nepal Trust provides integrated rural development in the far North West of Nepal. Our main objective is to help create community projects that emphasize local participation and responsibility and
The PCIA Awards Program has opened applications for 2009 - Apply now!
The Partnership for Clean Indoor Air awards will be presented to outstanding leaders in the field to highlight their achievements in improving health, livelihood & quality of life by reducing exposure
The Toyola Improved Coalpot: "A cleaner, safer way to cook"
For hundreds of thousands of families in Ghana who cook using traditional methods, simple metal & clay devices provide a cleaner, safer, more efficient way to prepare their daily meals, while also red
Traffic Pollution & Children's Health: Refining Estimates of Exposure for Health Study
The Principal Investigator of this study was Bart Ostro, Ph.D. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment,California Environmental Protection Agency.

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