Indoor Air Quality Updates

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Latest issue of Boiling Point

14 January 2015 13:03 (America/New_York)

Link - http://www.hedon.info/BP%3ALatest+issue?bl=y

Table of Contents Theme Articles The introduction and uptake of improved cookstoves: Making sense of engineers, social scientists, barriers, markets and participation

Authors: Mike Clifford Sarah Jewitt Charlotte Ray
Drawing on the authors’ previous experience, literature review and preliminary fieldwork, this article discusses some of the existing challenges faced when investigating improved cookstove (ICS)… [more] Adoption of Cleaner Cookstoves

Authors: Debajit Palit Subhes C Bhattacharyya
Globally 2.6 billion people, representing around 38% of the total population, depend on solid biomass fuels to meet their basic energy needs for cooking. While rural communities are shifting to… [more] New Modern Energy Consumers: Challenges for efficient cooking fuels in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Authors: Julia Tomei, Gabrial Anandarajah, Vibol San, Tharith Sriv, Sok Kunthy
The MECON project is investigating the design and implementation of energy efficiency policies targeting New Modern Energy CONsumers (MECON) in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Drawing on the results… [more] A participative approach: A rural community develops, tests and adopts an improved cooking stove in India

Authors: Sandro Pampallona, Paola Bollini
Two villages of the Banjara tribal community, in rural Andhra Pradesh, India, have joined efforts to embark on a common project of experimental learning and action-oriented research, supported and… [more]

Overcoming barriers to clean cookstove and fuel adoption: Why and how women must be integrated throughout the value chain

Authors: Corinne Hart, Genevieve Macfarlane Smith
Women are critical players in the adoption and scale of clean cooking solutions. Barriers to adoption of cleaner cooking solutions start within the home and with the cooks. Without engaging the… [more] General Articles From Artisans to Entrepreneurs: Understanding the role of small business for energy access

Authors: Robert Aitken, Johannes Kruger
The Developing Energy Enterprises Project East Africa (DEEP EA) provides a number of crucial lessons on the nature of support needed to stimulate private sector-led energy access initiatives in… [more] The new Sustainable Energy for All Forum: Shaping the global energy debate

Authors: Minoru Takada
Marking the two-year anniversary of the Rio+20, more than a thousand participants from governments, the private sector, civil society and international organisations gathered for the first annual… [more] The new Poor People’s Energy Outlook: Empowering people must be central to energy access interventions

Authors: Aaron Leopold
The global community is increasingly shining a spotlight on energy as a key component of poverty alleviation and development efforts. Illustrative of this shift is how donors, developing… [more]

 

Jan 15 Webinar – INDONESIA CLEAN STOVES INITIATIVE: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO SCALING UP CLEAN COOKING SOLUTIONS

14 January 2015 12:18 (America/New_York)

WEBINAR: INDONESIA CLEAN STOVES INITIATIVE: AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO SCALING UP CLEAN COOKING SOLUTIONS | Source: Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Indonesia has made great strides in moving toward clean cooking solutions, beginning with the highly successful government supported Kerosene-to-LPG Conversion Program (2007–12) and the ongoing BIRU Biogas Program. However, some 24.5 million households in Indonesia continue to depend on traditional biomass as their primary cooking fuel.  The momentum and lessons learned from these successful programs present a significant opportunity to promote and scale up high-quality biomass cookstoves in Indonesia.

In 2012, the World Bank, in collaboration with Indonesia’s Directorate of Bioenergy, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (Indonesia Stove Alliance), launched the Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative (CSI). The broad aim of this initiative is to scale up access to clean cooking solutions for the 40 percent of households who will likely continue using solid fuels beyond 2030.
Join the Winrock and U.S. EPA “Indonesia Clean Stoves Initiative ” webinar on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 9:00am Eastern Standard Time (EST) to hear results from Phase 1 and to discuss CSI’s integrated approach, using a results-based financing mechanism, to overcome supply- and demand-side barriers and institutional constraints.

About the speakers:

Ms. Christina Aristanti
Christina Aristanti is the manager of the Indonesia Stove Alliance. The Indonesia Stove Alliance is hosted by Yayasan Dian Desa, a local NGO working on appropriate technology, which has been addressing the need for clean stoves since the early 1980’s. Christina was the Asia Regional Cookstove Program (ARECOP) manager from 1991 – 2010.

Mr. Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Crispin Pemberton-Pigott is an industrial designer and founder of New Dawn Engineering, a Swaziland-based manufacturer of hand-operated production equipment. He was a co-founder of the Eastern Cape Appropriate Technology Unit, the Renewable Energy Association of Swaziland, the Industrial Designers Association of South Africa and most recently the South-South Sustainable Stoves Group. Over 30 years he has designed more than 20 stoves as well as stove projects, laboratories and protocols which test stoves that burn biomass, coal, ethanol, kerosene and LPG. As a co-founder and current technical advisor to the SeTAR Centre, University of Johannesburg, he also serves on the South African Bureau of Standards Technical Committee TC1054 writing national standards and associated test protocols and represents SABS on ISO-TC285.

Ms. Yabei Zhang
Yabei Zhang is Senior Energy Economist in the World Bank’s Energy and Extractives Global Practice.  She joined the World Bank as a Young Professional in 2008 and has worked on energy, urban, and climate-change issues, with a focus on energy efficiency, urban energy, and household energy.  She leads the East Asia and Pacific regional Clean Stove Initiative (CSI) flagship program and manages the China and Indonesia CSI country programs. Prior to joining the World Bank, Yabei worked at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a joint program of the Pacific Northwest National Lab and the University of Maryland. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master’s Degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Webinar participation is free. For the web portion, a high-speed internet connection is required. Please note that the webinar technology allows attendees to listen to audio through their computer or by phone. Additional log-in information will be provided upon registration.

REGISTER HERE: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5072619248308649730

For more information on this webinar, please contact: moderator@cookstovesandindoorair.org

 

Increased risk of respiratory illness associated with kerosene fuel use among women and children in urban Bangalore, India

14 January 2015 12:07 (America/New_York)

Increased risk of respiratory illness associated with kerosene fuel use among women and children in urban Bangalore, India. Occup Environ Med 2015;72:114-122 doi:10.1136/oemed-2014-102472.

Authors: Jae-Young Choi, Jill Baumgartner, et al.

Correspondence to - Dr Gurumurthy Ramachandran, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street SE, MMC 807, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA; ramac002@umn.edu

Background – Kerosene is a widely used cooking and lighting fuel in developing countries. The potential respiratory health effects of cooking with kerosene relative to cooking with cleaner fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have not been well characterised.

Methods – We sampled 600 households from six urban neighbourhoods in Bangalore, India. Each household’s primary cook, usually the woman of the house, was interviewed to collect information on current domestic fuel use and whether there was any presence of respiratory symptoms or illness in her or in the children in the household. Our analysis was limited to 547 adult females (ages 18–85) and 845 children (ages 0–17) in households exclusively cooking with either kerosene or LPG. We investigated the associations between kerosene use and the likelihood of having respiratory symptoms or illness using multivariate logistic regression models.

Results – Among adult women, cooking with kerosene was associated with cough (OR=1.88; 95% CI 1.19 to 2.99), bronchitis (OR=1.54; 95% CI 1.00 to 2.37), phlegm (OR=1.51; 95% CI 0.98 to 2.33) and chest illness (OR=1.61; 95% CI 1.02 to 2.53), relative to cooking with LPG in the multivariate models. Among children, living in a household cooking with kerosene was associated with bronchitis (OR=1.91; 95% CI 1.17 to 3.13), phlegm (OR=2.020; 95% CI 1.29 to 3.74) and chest illness (OR=1.70; 95% CI 0.99 to 2.90) after adjusting for other covariates. We also found associations between kerosene use and wheezing, difficulty breathing and asthma in adults and cough and wheezing in children, though these associations were not statistically significant.

Conclusions – Women and children in households cooking with kerosene were more likely to have respiratory symptoms and illnesses compared with those in households cooking with LPG. Transitioning from kerosene to LPG for cooking may improve respiratory health among adult women and children in this population.

 

Interactions between household air pollution and GWAS-identified lung cancer susceptibility markers in the Female Lung Cancer Consortium in Asia

14 January 2015 12:01 (America/New_York)

Interactions between household air pollution and GWAS-identified lung cancer susceptibility markers in the Female Lung Cancer Consortium in Asia (FLCCA). Hum Genet. 2015 Jan 8.

Hosgood HD 3rd, Song M, Hsiung CA, Yin Z, et al.
Author information – 1Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Ave. Belfer 1309, 10461, Bronx, NY, USA, dean.hosgood@einstein.yu.edu.

We previously carried out a multi-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) on lung cancer among never smokers in the Female Lung Cancer Consortium in Asia (FLCCA) (6,609 cases, 7,457 controls) that identified novel susceptibility loci at 10q25.2, 6q22.2, and 6p21.32, and confirmed two previously identified loci at 5p15.33 and 3q28. Household air pollution (HAP) attributed to solid fuel burning for heating and cooking, is the leading cause of the overall disease burden in Southeast Asia, and is known to contain lung carcinogens. To evaluate the gene-HAP interactions associated with lung cancer in loci independent of smoking, we analyzed data from studies participating in FLCCA with fuel use information available (n = 3; 1,731 cases; 1,349 controls). Coal use was associated with a 30 % increased risk of lung cancer (OR 1.3, 95 % CI 1.0-1.6).

Among the five a priori SNPs identified by our GWAS, two showed a significant interaction with coal use (HLA Class II rs2395185, p = 0.02; TP63 rs4488809 (rs4600802), p = 0.04). The risk of lung cancer associated with coal exposure varied with the respective alleles for these two SNPs. Our observations provide evidence that genetic variation in HLA Class II and TP63 may modify the association between HAP and lung cancer risk. The roles played in the cell cycle and inflammation pathways by the proteins encoded by these two genes provide biological plausibility for these interactions; however, additional replication studies are needed in other non-smoking populations.

The Lancet: Household air pollution: a call to action

7 January 2015 16:09 (America/New_York)

Household air pollution:a call to action. Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Jan 2015.

Authors: Alison Lee, Paul R O C Adobamen, et al.

Without any intervention,2·7 billion people will be reliant on biomass fuels by 2030.In view of the enormous burden of disease and the crucial need for quality exposure data,we call on the international scientific biomedical community, along with potential funders, to convene and form partnerships with these and other promising African researchers. Existing research centres, such as those in Ghana and Malawi, should be leveraged to build centres of excellence to train and supervise burgeoning African research sites. Provision of monitoring equipment and on-the-ground technical training and support would build desperately needed capacity and allow African researchers to lead research and public health efforts to combat the devastating health effects of household air pollution.

Construction of solar cookers and driers

7 January 2015 16:03 (America/New_York)

Construction of solar cookers and driers, 2014.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)

Although improved techniques for using solar energy are not that well-known,they nevertheless provide better results in terms of economy, ecology, quality and simple usage. Solar cookers and driers capture the sun’s rays to heat and dry food.This guide presents simple methods for construction and use of solar cookers and driers: a box cooker, a solar panel cooker, a direct solar drier and an indirect solar drier. Easy to make and use independently, they provide an economical way to meet the food processing needs of diverse populations.The solar cooker saves time, money and energy at no risk for the environment.It can be used to cook all types of food (vegetables, fruits, meat, cereals,bread, etc.).

Envirofit – Launch of Econochar and Econofire cookstoves in Kenya and Nigeria

7 January 2015 15:45 (America/New_York)

Envirofit – Launch of Econochar and Econofire cookstoves in Kenya and Nigeria

“Envirofit is excited to announce the official launch of the EconocharTM and EconofireTM cookstoves in Kenya and Nigeria this holiday season. We spent over 18 months conducting extensive consumer research and user acceptance studies to create a line of affordable cookstoves that safely support large cooking pots while cooking quickly and efficiently.  The arrival of the econoline marks the first low-cost products to compete with traditional stoves on the market without requiring carbon subsidies.  The other major break-through is that these stoves can be assembled very easily in the field. This enables remote distribution partners as well aid/relief channels alike to create skilled labor jobs at the last mile.”

” To ensure stoves are accessible to both urban and rural populations Envirofit is working in partnership with Tower Brand Nigeria and Kaluworks Kenya to create greater access for our dealers and small business owners region-wide. This partnership represents the first major scalable solution for both wood and charcoal users with the potential to impact people that cook over an open fire or use inefficient charcoal stoves – saving them money, time and lives.”

 

Is mom energy efficient? A study of gender, household energy consumption and family decision making in Indonesia

7 January 2015 13:57 (America/New_York)

Is mom energy efficient? A study of gender, household energy consumption and family decision making in Indonesia. Energy Research & Social Science, Volume 6, March 2015, Pages 78–86

Authors: Ariva Sugandi Permana, Norsiah Abd. Aziz, Ho Chin Siong

This study highlights gender-related factors and attempts to understand their influence in residential energy consumption. This pilot study was done in Bandung City, Indonesia. It employed a questionnaire survey and face to face interviews. Questionnaires were randomly distributed to the households in Bandung City.

In this study, energy consumption included household uses of power for lighting, entertainment, thermal comfort and cooking. Energy consumption was estimated based upon electrical and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption. The results showed that when the decisions about energy expenditure and control of energy consumption in the household were solely made by a woman, energy consumption tended to be the lowest.

There are three possible ways decision can be made, by the wife, husband and a joint decision. This evidence suggests several things. They are that (1) women are good household energy managers, (2) men may be careless with respect to energy consumption, (3) women may be more cautious about household expenditures, and (4) when joint decisions were made the husband and wife relied-upon-each-other in reaching agreement. This suggests useful entry points for energy efficient initiatives.

Gestational Age Assessment in the Ghana Randomized Air Pollution and Health Study (GRAPHS): Ultrasound Capacity Building, Fetal Biometry Protocol Development, and Ongoing Quality Control

30 December 2014 13:24 (America/New_York)

Protocol – Gestational Age Assessment in the Ghana Randomized Air Pollution and Health Study (GRAPHS): Ultrasound Capacity Building, Fetal Biometry Protocol Development, and Ongoing Quality Control. JMIR Res Proto, OCt-Dec 2-014.

Authors: Ellen A Boamah1, MPH ; KP Asante1, BSc, MPH, PhD ; KA Ae-Ngibise1, BEd, MSc ; Patrick L Kinney2, ScD ; Darby W Jack2, PhD ; Grace Manu1, BA ; Irene T Azindow1, BSc ; Seth Owusu-Agyei1, BSc, MSc, PhD ; Blair J Wylie3, MD, MPH

Corresponding Author: Blair J Wylie, MD, MPHMassachusetts General Hospital Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School, Email: bwylie@partners.org

Background: Four million premature deaths occur yearly as a result of smoke from cooking fires. The Ghana Randomized Air Pollution and Health Study (GRAPHS) is underway in the Kintampo North municipality and South district of rural Ghana to evaluate the impact of improved cook stoves introduced during pregnancy on birth weight and childhood pneumonia. These hypotheses are being tested in a cluster-randomized intervention trial among 1415 maternal-infant pairs within 35 communities assigned to a control arm (traditional cooking) or one of two intervention arms (cooking with an improved biomass stove; cooking with liquefied petroleum gas stoves).

Objective: The trial is designed to ensure delivery of the stove intervention prior to the period of maximal fetal growth. To answer questions about the impact of household air pollution on pregnancy outcome, accurate gestational age assessment is critical. This manuscript describes in detail the development of the gestational dating protocol, intensive ultrasound training involved, ultrasound capacity building, and ultrasound quality control program.

Methods: Ultrasound training occurred in several phases over the course of 2 years. Training included a basic obstetric ultrasound course offered to all midwives performing antenatal care at the two study hospitals, followed by a more intense period of hands-on training focused on fetal biometry for a select group of providers demonstrating aptitude in the basic course. A standard operating procedure was developed describing how to obtain all fetal biometric measurements. Consensus was obtained on how biometric images are used in the trial to establish gestational age and estimate the delivery date. An ongoing ultrasound quality control program including the use of an image scorecard was also designed.

Results: Publication of trial results is anticipated in late 2016.

Conclusions: Use of ultrasound should be strongly considered in field-based trials involving pregnant women to accurately establish gestational age, as menstrual dates may be incorrect or unknown. The inclusion of ultrasound in areas where ultrasound capacity does not previously exist requires a significant investment of time and resources. Such investment ensures appropriate training, high quality images, and accurate dating pregnancies. We outline our ultrasound training, image acquisition, quality control, and dating protocols in detail.
Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01335490; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01335490 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6UbERJNO6).

Study protocol: Designs of Two randomized, community-based trials to assess the impact of alternative cookstove installation on respiratory illness among young children

30 December 2014 13:15 (America/New_York)

Study protocol: Designs of Two randomized, community-based trials to assess the impact of alternative cookstove installation on respiratory illness among young children and reproductive outcomes in rural Nepal. BMC Public Health, Dec 2014, 14:1271 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1271

Authors: James M Tielsch, Joanne Katz, Scott L Zeger, Subarna K Khatry, Laxman Shrestha, Patrick Breysse, William Checkley, Luke C Mullany and Steven C LeClerq

Background – Acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) are a leading cause of death among young children in low and middle income countries. Low birthweight is highly prevalent in South Asia and is associated with increased risks of mortality, morbidity, and poor motor and cognitive development. High levels of indoor household air pollution caused by open burning of biomass fuels such as wood, animal dung, and crop waste are common in these settings and are associated with high rates of ALRI and low birthweight. Alternative stove designs that burn biomass fuel more efficiently have been proposed as one method for reducing these high exposures and lowering the rates of these disorders. We designed two randomized trials to test this hypothesis.

Methods – We conducted a pair of community-based, randomized trials of alternative cookstove installation a rural district in southern Nepal. Phase one was a cluster randomized, modified step-wedge design using an alternative biomass stove with a chimney to vent smoke to the exterior. A pre-installation period of morbidity assessment and household environmental assessment was conducted for six months in all households. This was followed by a one year step-wedge phase with 12 monthly steps for clusters of households to receive the alternative stove. The timing of alternative stove introduction was randomized. This step-wedge phase was followed in all households by another six month follow-up phase. Eligibility criteria for phase one included household informed consent, the presence of a married woman of reproductive age (15-30 yrs) or a child < 36 months. Children were followed until 36 months of age or the end of the trial and then discharged. Pregnancies were identified and followed until completion or end of the trial.

Phase two was an individually randomized trial of the same alternative biomass stove versus liquid propane gas stove installation in a subset of households that participated in phase one. Follow-up for phase two was 12 months following stove installation. Eligibility criteria included the same components as phase one except children were only enrolled for morbidity follow-up if they were less than 24 months are the start.

The primary outcomes included: the incidence of ALRI in children and birthweight among newborn infants.

Conclusions – We have presented the design and methods of two randomized trials of alternative cookstoves on rates of acute lower respiratory infection and birthweight in a rural population in southern Nepal.

Genetic modification of the effect of maternal household air pollution exposure on birth weight in Guatemalan newborns

30 December 2014 13:06 (America/New_York)

Genetic modification of the effect of maternal household air pollution exposure on birth weight in Guatemalan newborns. Reproductive Toxicology, Volume 50, December 2014, Pages 19–26

Authors: Lisa M. Thompson, Paul Yousefi, Reneé Peñaloza, John Balmes, Holland Nina

Highlights
• GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes may modify the association between maternal exposure to wood smoke and birth weight.
• Maternal null GSTM1 was associated with a 144 g (95% CI, −291, 1) decrease in birth weight.
• Combined maternal/infant null GSTT1 was associated with a 155 g (95% CI, −303, −8) decrease in birth weight.
• Effect modification by chimney stove use was not demonstrated.

Low birth weight is associated with exposure to air pollution during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether null polymorphisms of Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), specifically GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes in infants or mothers, modify the association between high exposures to household air pollution (HAP) from cooking fires and birth weight. Pregnant women in rural Guatemala were randomized to receive a chimney stove or continue to use open fires for cooking. Newborns were measured within 48 h of birth. 132 mother–infant pairs provided infant genotypes (n = 130) and/or maternal genotypes (n = 116). Maternal null GSTM1 was associated with a 144 g (95% CI, −291, 1) and combined maternal/infant null GSTT1 was associated with a 155 g (95% CI, −303, −8) decrease in birth weight. Although there was a trend toward higher birth weights with increasing number of expressed GST genes, the effect modification by chimney stove use was not demonstrated.

Sustained use of biogas fuel and blood pressure among women in rural Nepal

30 December 2014 13:01 (America/New_York)

Sustained use of biogas fuel and blood pressure among women in rural Nepal. Environmental Research, Volume 136, January 2015, Pages 343–351

Authors: Maniraj Neupane, Buddha Basnyat, Rainald Fischer, Guenter Froeschl, Marcel Wolbers, Eva A Rehfuess

Highlights
• We study the impact of sustained use of biogas fuel on blood pressure among females.
• Use of biogas is associated with lower SBP and DBP in cooks >50 years.
• Use of biogas is associated with 68% reduced odds of developing high blood pressure in cooks >50 years.
• Effect of biogas use on blood pressure seems to be age dependent.

Background - More than two fifths of the world’s population cook with solid fuels and are exposed to household air pollution (HAP). As of now, no studies have assessed whether switching to alternative fuels like biogas could impact cardiovascular health among cooks previously exposed to solid fuel use. Methods - We conducted a propensity score matched cross-sectional study to explore if the sustained use of biogas fuel for at least ten years impacts blood pressure among adult female cooks of rural Nepal. We recruited one primary cook ≥30 years of age from each biogas (219 cooks) and firewood (300 cooks) using household and measured their systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Household characteristics, kitchen ventilation and 24-h kitchen carbon monoxide were assessed. We matched cooks by age, body mass index and socio-economic status score using propensity scores and investigated the effect of biogas use through multivariate regression models in two age groups, 30–50 years and >50 years to account for any post-menopausal changes. Results - We found substantially reduced 24-h kitchen carbon monoxide levels among biogas-using households. After matching and adjustment for smoking, kitchen characteristics, ventilation status and additional fuel use, the use of biogas was associated with 9.8 mmHg lower SBP [95% confidence interval (CI), −20.4 to 0.8] and 6.5 mmHg lower DBP (95% CI, −12.2 to −0.8) compared to firewood users among women >50 years of age. In this age group, biogas use was also associated with 68% reduced odds [Odds ratio 0.32 (95% CI, 0.14 to 0.71)] of developing hypertension. These effects, however, were not identified in younger women aged 30–50 years. Conclusions - Sustained use of biogas for cooking may protect against cardiovascular disease by lowering the risk of high blood pressure, especially DBP, among older female cooks. These findings need to be confirmed in longitudinal or experimental studies.

 

Indoor air pollution exposure from use of indoor stoves and fireplaces in association with breast cancer

17 December 2014 11:51 (America/New_York)

Indoor air pollution exposure from use of indoor stoves and fireplaces in association with breast cancer: a case-control study. Environmental Health, Dec 2014, 13:108 doi:10.1186/1476-069X-13-108.

Authors: Alexandra J White (whitea@unc.edu), Susan L Teitelbaum (susan.teitelbaum@mssm.edu), et al.

Background – Previous studies suggest that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) may adversely affect breast cancer risk. Indoor air pollution from use of indoor stoves and/or fireplaces is animportant source of ambient PAH exposure. However, the association between indoor stove/fireplace use and breast cancer risk is unknown. We hypothesized that indoor stove/fireplace use in a Long Island, New York study population would be positively associated with breast cancer and differ by material burned, and the duration and timing of exposure. We also hypothesized that the association would vary by breast cancer subtype defined by p53 mutation status, and interact with glutathione S-transferases GSTM1, T1, A1and P1 polymorphisms.

Methods – Population-based, case-control resources (1,508 cases/1,556 controls) were used to conduct unconditional logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).ResultsBreast cancer risk was increased among women reporting ever burning synthetic logs (whichmay also contain wood) in their homes (OR = 1.42, 95%CI 1.11, 1.84), but not for everburning wood alone (OR = 0.93, 95%CI 0.77, 1.12). For synthetic log use, longer duration >7years, older age at exposure (>20 years; OR = 1.65, 95%CI 1.02, 2.67) and 2 or more variantsin GSTM1, T1, A1 or P1 (OR = 1.71, 95%CI 1.09, 2.69) were associated with increased risk.

Conclusions – Burning wood or synthetic logs are both indoor PAH exposure sources; however, positive associations were only observed for burning synthetic logs, which was stronger for longer exposures, adult exposures, and those with multiple GST variant genotypes. Therefore, our results should be interpreted with care and require replication.

Facts on U.S. Support for Clean Cooking Sector, Clean Cookstoves – 21 November 2014

15 December 2014 14:23 (America/New_York)

Facts on U.S. Support for Clean Cooking Sector, Clean Cookstoves - 21 November 2014

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, D.C.
November 21, 2014

Fact Sheet

The United States’ Expanded Support to the Clean Cooking Sector and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy announced on Nov. 21, 2014 renewed and enhanced support by the United States for the clean cooking sector and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance).

These actions will help improve health, reduce environmental degradation, mitigate climate change, and generate economic empowerment and opportunity for women and girls.

The Alliance is a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation that aims to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking stoves and fuels.

  • In January 2015, the Alliance will launch Phase 2 of its ten-year Strategic Business Plan.

Nearly 3 billion people have little choice but to cook over open fires or traditional stoves. The World Health Organization estimates more than 4 million people die prematurely every year because of exposure to smoke from these stoves; these exposures rank as the world’s fourth worst health risk – and the second worst for women and girls.

Cookstoves also account for more than 20 percent of global emissions of black carbon – an important short-lived pollutant that impacts near-term climate change and the health of local communities.

The United States anticipates contributing up to $200 million through 2020 towards an enhanced range of work in the clean cooking sector, including: attracting up to $25 million in financing by reducing the risk banks face in providing loans to cookstove businesses; investing $59 million in new research to build the evidence base for clean cooking interventions; and contributing $16 million towards field implementation activities.

The United States is also working to develop a guarantee financing package to mobilize an additional $100 million in private financing for the clean cooking sector.

These new contributions will help the Alliance achieve its goal of enabling 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient cooking solutions by 2020.

These contributions build on the United States’ initial five-year commitment from 2011-2015 and bring the cumulative ten-year U.S. contribution to the clean cooking sector and the Alliance up to a possible $325 million.

All projected support is subject to the availability of funds.

Department of State – up to $2.5 million

• The Department of State will continue to utilize its diplomatic outreach to support Alliance efforts both globally and in the Alliance’s focus countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Department is also investing up to $2.5 million to: 1) scale adoption of household energy products by increasing the number of women entrepreneurs who are able to effectively and efficiently distribute these products, and 2) identify innovative financing options to support the deployment of cooking stoves with climate benefits, in the context of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – up to $135 million

• USAID – through two of its Development Credit Authority loan guarantee vehicles, and in partnership with the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) – will mobilize up to $125 million in new private financing for manufacturers and distributors of clean cookstoves and cooking fuel. More specifically, USAID and SIDA are:

– Launching a $100 million credit facility, in partnership with three international financial institutions, to support the proliferation of household technology products. This facility may attract $25 million in new private lending that will enable clean stove and fuel enterprises to expand their product lines, increase production, and reach new markets.

– Working on developing, in partnership with anchor financial partners and institutional investors, a guarantee financing package dedicated to mobilizing an additional $100 million in private financing for manufacturers and distributors of clean stoves and fuels.

• USAID will contribute $10 million to support market development and engage private-sector participation to help scale adoption of stoves and fuels that meet household energy needs and release fewer pollutants. The goal of these efforts is to improve health, reduce environmental degradation, mitigate climate change, foster economic growth, and empower women.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – $21.6 million

• For the 2015-2020 period, EPA plans to invest $15 million to continue its leadership and research towards achieving the environmental and health benefits of clean and efficient cooking, with a focus on: laboratory and field evaluation of cookstoves and fuels; developing international standards; and health, climate, and air quality research on the impacts of clean cooking. In addition, EPA has expanded its original five-year commitment by $6.6 million, primarily to research cleaner technologies and fuels for cooking, lighting, and heating homes.

Department of Health and Human Services

• National Institutes of Health (NIH) – $34.4 million

– NIH plans to invest $30 million to support health research and training to improve the health and lives of those at risk from household burning of solid fuels. NIH also expanded its original five-year commitment (2010-2015) by $4.4 million. These investments include health evaluations of stove rollout programs, study of stove adoption behavior, enhancing exposure science, development of biomarkers, and stove interventional trials. Up to one half of these grants and projects will be supported through targeted programs.

– Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – $6.5 million

• CDC plans to invest $6.5 million towards evaluating cookstove programs to better understand their public health benefits and key determinants of adoption, and to provide scientific validation of the health benefits of clean and safe cooking. CDC will focus its investment on efforts that support bringing clean and safe cooking solutions to scale.

Additional Federal Agencies Providing Support:

• The Overseas Private Investment Corporation is renewing its original commitment of up to $50 million in debt financing or insurance that meets their credit and lending standards to support businesses that manufacture, sell, or purchase clean cooking stoves and fuels.

• The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will continue its work with scientists in other countries to monitor and assess the global climate impacts of black carbon emissions and to assess the potential climate benefits of switching to clean cookstoves.

• The Peace Corps will ensure that its cookstove programs – training community members in construction and maintenance, providing ongoing support in sustaining their use, and helping families and others access needed financing – are closely aligned with Alliance strategy.

 

Alliance Spark Fund III – January 30th 2015 deadline

15 December 2014 14:16 (America/New_York)

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves seeks to create a thriving global market for clean cookstoves and fuels, with the goal to enable 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cooking technologies by 2020. The Spark Fund provides investment-like growth capital and capacity development support to help enterprises reach commercial viability, scale, and ultimately unlock additional investments for future growth.

The Spark Fund targets the specific capital and capacity development needs of social enterprises that have passed proof-of-concept, are at the venture or growth stage, and are focused on the commercial up-scaling of their operations. As such, enterprises supported by Spark will be:

1) Market-based, commercially viable enterprises

2) Venture or growth stage ventures that are generating income and are not yet mature enough to access growth capital from traditional investment sources

3) Scalable enterprises with the potential to make a significant contribution to the Alliance’s goal of enabling 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cooking technologies and fuels by 2020

The Spark Fund III will be accepting applications between from November 17th 2014 to January 30th 2015, 6:00pm EST. Finalists will be notified by March 1st 2015 and after completion of in-depth due diligence and panel judging, up to 6 qualifying enterprises will be selected to receive funding by June 1st 2015.

NANO-AETHALOMETER: Understanding Biomass Cooking Behaviors

15 December 2014 14:09 (America/New_York)

NANO-AETHALOMETER: Understanding Biomass Cooking Behaviors, 2014.

Julien Caubel, Daniel Wilson. Center for Effective Global Action.

Research Purpose – Measure geographic distribution of BC to monitor where and how biomass is burned, and understand the resulting impacts on human health and environment.

  • Current technologies are too expensive, cumbersome or unreliable at measuring BC
  • Need for a low-cost, compact instrument that can be deployed both on the ground and in the air to accurately and directly measure BC distributions on large scale

Project Summary - Lightweight, compact BC sensor built and tested.Measurement performance is comparable to costlycommercial instruments.

  • Balloon launched successfully in India with satellitebasedglobal telemetry and communications system
  • The Nano-Aethalometer will be deployed both on theground and in the air around rural communities inIndia to monitor biomass cookstove user trends andbehaviors
  • Ultimately, this data and information will enable moreeffective reductions of the health and environmentalimpacts associated with biomass cookstoves in thedeveloping world

Berkeley University – Selling Sustainability: Delivering Cookstoves Is Easier than Convincing People to Use Them

11 December 2014 10:06 (America/New_York)

Selling Sustainability: Delivering Cookstoves Is Easier than Convincing People to Use Them. California Magazine, Fall 2014.

An excerpt – David I. Levine is an unusual kind of salesman. The UC Berkeley Haas School of Business professor’s products are good: cost-effective, ecofriendly water filters and cookstoves. But Levine found that where his products were most needed—in Uganda, Bangladesh, and Kenya—people weren’t buying.

“The biggest mystery is cookstoves,” says Levine. Traditional biomass cookstoves kill more than 4 million people a year due to various illnesses associated with indoor air pollution, including 1 million children under the age of 5 due to pneumonia, according to the World Health Organization. Such stoves also contribute to deforestation and global climate change. Improved cookstoves, which cost around $10, use half the fuel, stay hot longer, and emit less smoke. For many, this switch would be an easy sell; but for impoverished households, that was not the case.

“All these health benefits are very uncertain,” Levine says. “They’re in the distant future.” It’s hard for people to accept that their stoves are causing deaths. What’s more, Levine says, long-term environmental effects are marginal problems for families who don’t have savings, bank accounts, or even locks on their doors.

After several iterations, Levine devised a successful payment plan for these cookstoves. Households were given a free trial followed by a rent-to-own plan in which they would pay for the cookstove mostly out of fuel savings. Throw in a return policy, and Levine saw a significant increase in sales.

The strategy worked because “you don’t have to worry about whether people believe the doctors, or how people think about the hazards to a child’s health,” he says. “It comes down to money.”

But Levine’s approach turned up a new obstacle: Many customers do not trust vendors, regardless of free trials. Furthermore, vendors are hesitant to give credit to customers—despite the fact that in his pilot program, Levine received more than 97 percent of scheduled payments in Uganda. He is now testing mobile payments and layaway options to overcome this challenge.

 

 

World Bank – Turn Down Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal

11 December 2014 10:01 (America/New_York)

Turn Down Heat, Confronting the New Climate Normal: Executive Summary, 2014. World Bank.

The benefits of strong, early action on climate change, action that follows clean, low carbon pathways and avoids locking in unsustainable growth strategies, far outweigh the costs. Many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming to below 2°C. But, the time to act is now. The data show that dramatic climate changes, heat and weather extremes are already impacting people, damaging crops and coastlines and putting food, water, and energy security at risk. Across the three regions studied in this report, record-breaking temperatures are occurring more frequently, rainfall has increased in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions are getting dryer. In an overview of social vulnerability, the poor and underprivileged, as well as the elderly and children, are found to be often hit the hardest. There is growing evidence, that even with very ambitious mitigation action, warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century is already locked-in to the Earth’s atmospheric system and climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable.1 If the planet continues warming to 4°C, climatic conditions, heat and other weather extremes considered highly unusual or unprecedented today would become the new climate normal—a world of increased risks and instability. T

Female Labor Force Participation and Household Dependence on Biomass Energy: Evidence from National Longitudinal Data

11 December 2014 9:55 (America/New_York)

Female Labor Force Participation and Household Dependence on Biomass Energy: Evidence from National Longitudinal Data. World Development
Volume 67, March 2015, Pages 424–437

Authors: Paul J. Burke, Guy Dundas

Highlights

  • We examine drivers of household biomass energy use using national longitudinal data.
  • Our dataset covers up to 175 countries during the period 1990–2010.
  • Female labor force involvement is associated with less household biomass energy use.
  • The opportunity cost of women’s time appears to influence household energy choices.
  • Our results on the role of income are consistent with the fuel stacking model.

Summary – Air pollution from household biomass combustion is an important cause of poor health in developing countries. This study employs national-level longitudinal data for up to 175 countries during 1990–2010 and finds that female labor force participation is associated with reductions in household biomass energy use. Consistent with the “fuel stacking” model, higher incomes are linked to use of other types of energy by households, but not significantly associated with reductions in use of biomass energy. The results highlight the multifaceted nature of household energy transitions and suggest an avenue by which female empowerment can lead to improved health outcomes.

Voice of America – Making Cooking Stoves Safer Worldwide

11 December 2014 9:52 (America/New_York)

Voice of America – Making Cooking Stoves Safer Worldwide, December 11, 2014

Smoky cook fires are a leading cause of indoor airpollution - poor air quality inside buildings. Indoor airpollution kills more than four million people each year. The problem is bigger than malaria, tuberculosis orHIV, the virus that causes the disease AIDS.

Recently, people concerned about the issue met fortwo days of discussions in New York City. Their hopewas to persuade private industry to build and sell betterstoves.

Traditional open-fire cooking affects the health of bothhuman beings and the world’s environment. Collectingwood for cooking fires is one of the main causes ofdeforestation. And the gases and soot that comefrom the fires pollute the air. They also are partlyresponsible for rising temperatures.

At the meeting, former Secretary of State Hillary Clintonnoted that almost three billion people use traditional stoves for heating andcooking. Because of their widespread use, she said, indoor air pollution is aninternational problem.

“But it also, if approached correctly, could be an economic opportunity. And that is the idea behind the alliance.”

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves supports companies that make andsell affordable, efficient and less-polluting cookers. The alliance alsosupports research into developing better stoves.

Ms. Clinton helped launch the group in 2010. At the meeting, the United Statespromised $200 million in financial support and research money. Butorganizers wanted to raise $500 million.

Radha Muthiah is the executive director of the alliance. She says four yearsafter the group was launched, 20 million more households are using cleancookstoves.

“We’ve proven that this market-based approach works. Twenty millionstoves later, we know that this is a recipe that can be scaled up.”

Jim Jetter works as a researcher for the United States EnvironmentalProtection Agency. He says it is not easy to build a low-cost device thatpeople will use.

“It’s a big technical challenge to make a cookstove that has low emissions ofair pollutants, that is fuel efficient, and that is low-cost so that people canafford it — and, most importantly, that it meets the user needs. If it doesn’tmeet the user’s needs, then people do not use the stoves and, and then thereare no benefits.”

 

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