Smoke - the Killer in the Kitchen: Indoor Air Pollution in Developing Countries

Smoke - the Killer in the Kitchen: Indoor Air Pollution in Developing Countries

by H. Warwick


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Over two billion people in developing countries use only traditional biomass — wood, dung and crop waste — for their basic energy needs. The pollution from the burning of these fuels for cooking and heating is linked to the deaths of over 1.6 million people each year (more than three people a minute). Indoor air pollution is one of the leading causes of mortality and illness in developing countries. The main cause of deaths in children under five years old is acute lower respiratory infection, such as pneumonia — and indoor air pollution is responsible for causing about 60% of these deaths. Despite these devastating facts about smoke, very few people are aware of the risks of indoor air pollution. It is quite literally the silent killer.

This report details the health impacts of smoke in homes across the developing world. Technical solutions are presented, with strategies for reducing exposure to smoke for millions of households. Recommendations are given on immediate actions to be taken to significantly scale-up the fight against the silent killer of smoke in the homes of the world’s most vulnerable people.

This report is part of the ITDG Briefings series, designed to inform and stimulate public debate on crucial issues of sustainable development. The series looks at the role of technology and economics in the battle against poverty, inequality and injustice. In an increasingly fragile and divided world the need for well-informed public debate is vital and these reports summarize the issues and offer recommendations for action.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781853395888
Publisher: Practical Action Publishing
Publication date: 03/28/2004
Series: ITDG Briefings Series
Pages: 48
Product dimensions: 8.25(w) x 11.75(h) x 0.40(d)

Table of Contents

Executive summaryvi
Smoke--the killer in the kitchen1
A crisis affecting mainly poor women and children2
Smoke and the Millennium Development Goals3
Smoke's increasing cloud across the globe5
Why has so little been done?6
How smoke kills and injures8
Exposure in poor homes far exceeds accepted safety levels8
Researching how smoke affects health10
Health effects of indoor air pollution10
Reducing exposure to indoor air pollution13
Cooking on a cleaner fuel13
Getting smoke out of the house16
Cutting smoke volumes18
Reducing the need for fire18
Changing patterns of behaviour19
Heating the home19
Identifying appropriate solutions20
Weighing up the cost of smoke alleviation21
Lessons from stoves programmes21
Smoke reduction efforts and health spending22
A Global Action Plan25
High level international conference25
Millennium Development Goals25
A global partnership25
Sustainable finance26
National task forces27
Appendix 1Lessons to be learnt from improved stoves programmes29
Appendix 2Getting the market right for wide-scale dissemination33
Appendix 3Action by key stakeholders on indoor air pollution35
World Health Organization35
Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme35
Partnership for Clean Indoor Air36
United Nations Development Programme36
National governments36
Global Village Energy Partnership36
Shell Foundation37
Research community37
Development community37
Notes and references39

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