Friday, November 11, 2011

Ya;le 360 Environment: Wood Smoke and Health Effects

e360 digest

11 NOV 2011


A new study finds that reducing exposure to smoke from open fires and wood-burning cook stoves significantly reduces the incidence of pneumonia, the leading of death for children five and under in
World’s Pall of Black Carbon
Can Be Eased With New Stoves

World's Pall of Black Carbon Can Be Eased with New Stoves
Two billion people worldwide do their cooking on open fires, producing sooty pollution. If widely adopted, a new generation of inexpensive, durable cook stoves could go a long way toward alleviating this problem.
developing countries. In an assessment of families in the western highlands of Guatemala, researchers found a one-third reduction in severe pneumonia diagnoses among children in homes with smoke-reducing chimneys compared with homes that use dirtier, poorly ventilated stoves, which are the primary source of cooking and heat for 3 billion people, or 43 percent of the global population. “The amount of smoke exposure babies were getting from the open woodfire stoves is comparable to having them smoke three to five cigarettes a day,” said Kirk Smith, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and principal investigator of the study, published in the journal The Lancet. “The chimney stoves reduced that smoke exposure by a half, on average.” Another new study, published in the journal NeuroToxicology, found a link between prenatal maternal exposure to woodsmoke and lower performance in neurodevelopmental tests for school-aged children.

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