Brinkmann for GIZ
Indoor Air Pollution, Ethiopia

As many as four million people die prematurely every year from illnesses associated with exposure to smoke from polluting open fires or inefficient stoves.1 Air pollution is the leading environmental health risk globally.2 Household air pollution (HAP) contributes to a range of heart and lung diseases, and there is emerging evidence that it plays a role in negative birth outcomes. 3 Cleaner, more modern stoves and fuels can reduce emissions and lessen the burden of disease associated with HAP.4

 

The Problem


Three billion people around the world depend on food cooked over polluting open fires or inefficient stoves.5 Exposure to HAP from burning wood, charcoal, coal, and kerosene is a leading risk factor for diseases including childhood pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.6 There is emerging evidence that when pregnant women are exposed to HAP, their infants are at increased risk for stillbirth, low birth weight, and decreased lung function.7 Emissions from household cooking are a significant source of ambient air pollution and a major contributor to climate change.8 Globally, as many as four million people die prematurely every year from illnesses attributable to HAP.9

 

Clean Cooking Solutions


Replacing polluting open fires or inefficient stoves with cleaner, more modern stoves and fuels reduces emissions and personal exposure, thereby lowering the burden of disease associated with HAP.10 Research suggests that significant exposure reductions are required to measurably reduce negative health impacts. Therefore, substantial improvements in health can only be achieved with intensive, near-exclusive use of the lowest emission cookstoves and fuels.11 Randomized controlled trials of near-exclusive use have shown reductions in severe pneumonia in young children and reduced duration of respiratory infections in children. Additionally, emerging research about pregnancy indicates that switching to cleaner technologies and fuels lowers blood pressure in pregnant women, increases the baby's birth weight, and increases the baby's gestational age at delivery.12 Achieving these positive health outcomes requires driving consumer demand for cleaner, more modern stoves and fuels; mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses capable of delivering affordable, appropriate, high-quality clean cooking products; and fostering an enabling environment for industry growth. 

 


Endnotes: 

1WHO, 2016: https://www.who.int/gho/phe/indoor_air_pollution/burden/en/
2IHME, 2013: http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/first-time-environmental-air-pollution-emerges-leading-risk-factor-stroke-worldwide
3Various Sources, many outlined here: https://www.harpnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/f1-HAP-Briefer-DIGITAL.pdf
4Various Sources, many outlined here: https://www.harpnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/f1-HAP-Briefer-DIGITAL.pdf
5WHO, 2018 http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/household-air-pollution-and-health
6WHO, 2018 http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/household-air-pollution-and-health
7Various Sources, many outlined here: https://www.harpnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/f1-HAP-Briefer-DIGITAL.pdf
8Various Sources, including: Bond et. al., 2013: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/jgrd.50171 ; http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/853479/icode/ ; Bailis et al, 2015: Rob Bailis of Stockholm Environment Institute, researched funded by the Global Alliance and published in Nature and Climate Change in 2015 https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2491
9WHO, 2016: https://www.who.int/gho/phe/indoor_air_pollution/burden/en/
10Various Sources, many outlined here: https://www.harpnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/f1-HAP-Briefer-DIGITAL.pdf
11WHO, 2014: https://www.who.int/airpollution/guidelines/household-fuel-combustion/en/
12Various Sources, many outlined here: https://www.harpnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/f1-HAP-Briefer-DIGITAL.pdf

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