Air Pollution in Developing Countries

  1. Pollution: An innovation prize for clean cookstoves

    Nature, 497: 317, May 16, 2013 • Ambuj D. Sagar (IIT Delhi) & Kirk R. Smith (UC Berkeley)

    A radical shift in engine technology in the 1970s (Honda’s CVCC) drastically cut motor-vehicle emissions. A comparable game-changer could solve an even bigger pollution problem today.

    Household air pollution from the traditional biomass-burning stoves used in many developing countries is the world’s largest environmental-health threat, leading to 4 million premature deaths annually (S. S. Lim et al. Lancet 380, 2224–2260; 2012). We propose that a multimillion-dollar innovation prize should be set up, funded by governments or private philanthropy, to rapidly bring cleaner, more efficient and affordable stoves to poor people.

    The competition would attract the world’s best combustion scientists and engineers, and would help to take the current efforts of non-governmental organizations, small companies and academics to the next level (see S. Anenberg et al. Nature 490, 343; 2012).

    The prize would be awarded for a durable, low-emission biomass-combustion unit ­ the ‘heart of the hearth’ ­ rather than for the stove itself. Stove designs could then be adapted around this to meet local requirements.

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  2. Acute Lower Respiratory Infection in Childhood and Household Fuel Use in Bhaktapur, Nepal

    Bates MN, Chandyo RK, Valentiner-Branth P, Pokhrel AK, Mathisen M, Basnet S, Shrestha PS, Strand TA, Smith KR. Acute Lower Respiratory Infection in Childhood and Household Fuel Use in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Environ Health Perspect 121:637-642 (2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1205491 [online 19 March 2013]
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  3. Longitudinal Relationship between Personal CO and Personal PM2.5 among Women Cooking with Woodfired Cookstoves in Guatemala

    McCracken JP, Schwartz J, Diaz A, Bruce N, Smith KR (2013) Longitudinal Relationship between Personal CO and Personal PM2.5 among Women Cooking with Woodfired Cookstoves in Guatemala. PLoS ONE 8(2): e55670. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055670
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  4. A low-cost particle counter as a realtime fine-particle mass monitor

    Northcross AL, Edwards RJ, Johnson MA, Wang ZM, Zhu K, Allen T, Smith KR. A low-cost particle counter as a realtime fine-particle mass monitor. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2013, 15 433.
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  5. Biomass Stoves and Lens Opacity and Cataract in Nepalese Women

    Pokhrel AK, Bates MN, Shrestha SP, Bailey IL, DiMartino RB, Smith KR. Biomass Stoves and Lens Opacity and Cataract in Nepalese Women. Optometry and Vision Science, Vol. 90, No. 3, March 2013.
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  6. Household air pollution and stillbirths in India: Analysis of the DLHS-II National Survey

    Lakshmi PVM, Virdi NK, Sharma A, Tripathy JP, Smith KR, Bates MN, Kumar R. Household air pollution and stillbirths in India: Analysis of the DLHS-II National Survey. Environmental Research 121 (2013) 17–22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2012.12.004
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  7. Energy and Human Health

    Smith KR, Frumkin H, Balakrishnan K, Butler CD, Chafe ZA, Fairlie I, Kinney P, Kjellstrom T, Mauzerall DL, McKone TE, McMichael AJ, Schneider M. Energy and Human Health. Annu. Rev. Public Health 2013. 34:25.1–25.30
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  8. Household fuels, low birth weight, and neonatal death in India: The separate impacts of biomass, kerosene, and coal

    Epstein MB, Bates MN, Arora NK, Balakrishnan K, Jack DW, Smith KR. Household fuels, low birth weight, and neonatal death in India: The separate
    impacts of biomass, kerosene, and coal International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health (2016) 523-532. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2012.12.006
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  9. Tackling the world’s forgotten killer

    18 January, 2013

    “About the worst thing you can do is stick burning stuff in your mouth. Every year, tobacco kills more than six million people, according to the World health Organization. Including secondhand tobacco smoke affecting non-smokers, it is the chief cause of ill-health (measured as lost years of healthy life) among men globally and for everyone in North America and Western Europe.

    The terrible disease burden imposed by tobacco is recognized by most people, but the risk of another form of smoke is also highlighted in the new “Global Burden of Disease” report released last Month in The Lancet – smoke from cooking fires. About 40 percent of the world still cooks with solid fuels, like wood and coal, in simple stoves that release substantial amounts of the same kinds of hazardous chemicals found in tobacco smoke directly into the household environment. Indeed, a typical wood cookfire emits 400 cigarettes worth of smoke an hour.”

    Visit CNN for the rest of the op-ed piece.


  10. TURBOCOCINA Field Assessments in Schools: San Lorenzo Guatemala

    Northcross AL, Smith KR, Hernandez MT. TURBOCOCINA Field Assessments in Schools: San Lorenzo Guatemala. Household Energy, Health, and Climate Change Research Group. UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Nov 2012.
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