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Laboratory demonstration and field verification of a Wireless Cookstove Sensing System (WiCS) for determining cooking duration and fuel consumption

28 October 2014 14:32 (America/New_York)

Laboratory demonstration and field verification of a Wireless Cookstove Sensing System (WiCS) for determining cooking duration and fuel consumption. Energy for Sustainable Development. Volume 23, December 2014, Pages 59–67.

Authors: E Graham, et al.

With improved cookstoves (ICs) increasingly distributed to households for a range of air pollution interventions and carbon-credit programs, it has become necessary to accurately monitor the duration of cooking and the amount of fuel consumed. In this study, laboratory trials were used to create temperature-based algorithms for quantifying cooking duration and estimating fuel consumption from stove temperatures. Field validation of the algorithms employed a Wireless Cookstove Sensing System (WiCS) that offers remote, low-cost temperature sensing and the wireless transmission of temperature data to a centralized database using local cellular networks. Field trials included 68 unscripted household cooking events. In the laboratory, temperature responses of the IC body and that of a removable temperature probe (J-bar) followed well-known physical models during cooking, indicating that location of the temperature sensor is not critical.

 

Affordability for sustainable energy development products

28 October 2014 14:26 (America/New_York)

Affordability for sustainable energy development products. Applied Energy, Volume 132, 1 November 2014, Pages 308–316.

Paul Riley

Clean burning products, for example cooking stoves, can reduce household air pollution (HAP), which prematurely kills 3.5 million people each year. By careful selection of components into a product package with micro-finance used for the capital payment, barriers to large-scale uptake of products that remove HAP are reduced. Such products reduce smoke from cooking and the lighting from electricity produced, eliminates smoke from kerosene lamps. A bottom-up financial model, that is cognisant of end user social needs, has been developed to compare different products for use in rural areas of developing countries. The model is freely available for use by researchers and has the ability to assist in the analysis of changing assumptions.

Business views of an individual villager, the village itself and a country view are presented. The model shows that affordability (defined as the effect on household expenses as a result of a product purchase) and recognition of end-user social needs are as important as product cost. The effects of large-scale deployment (greater that 10 million per year) are described together with level of subsidy required by the poorest people. With the assumptions given, the model shows that pico-hydro is the most cost effective, but not generally available, one thermo-acoustic technology option does not require subsidy, but it is only at technology readiness level 2 (NASA definition) therefore costs are predicted and very large investment in manufacturing capability is needed to meet the cost target.

Thermo-electric is currently the only technology that can be used worldwide every day of the year and is available without research. However, it is not yet self-financing and therefore requires subsidy or diversion of more household income to be affordable. A combination of photovoltaic and clean cookstove may be suitable in areas where sufficient solar radiation is available on most days. Affordability is shown to be highly dependent on the income that can be derived from carbon credits.

Oct 24, 2014 WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Clean Cookstoves

28 October 2014 14:04 (America/New_York)

WASHplus Weekly – Issue 166 | Oct  24, 2014 | Focus on Clean Cookstoves

This issue highlights recent reports, articles, announcements, and upcoming events related to clean cookstoves. Included are a review of the evidence on behavior change techniques in clean cooking interventions and a systematic review of Chinese language literature on adoption of improved stoves and clean fuels.

REPORTS

The Use of Behaviour Change Techniques in Clean Cooking Interventions to Achieve Health, Economic and Environmental Impact: A Review of the Evidence and Scorecard of Effectiveness, 2014. N Goodwin. (LINK)
The aim of this study is to review the use of behavior change approaches for clean cooking interventions in resource-poor settings. Using publicly available data, the report synthesizes the evidence of the use of behavior change techniques (BCTs) for human and environmental outcomes and impact. The report includes a set of case studies on selected interventions that use BCTs and applies a scorecard to assess the effectiveness of each intervention’s approach to behavior change. It also includes a set of recommendations for the clean cooking sector to consider.

Chinese Literature Review on Adoption of Clean Cookstoves and Fuels, 2014. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. (LINK)
In 2013, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves supported a systematic review of Chinese language literature on the adoption of improved stoves and clean fuels to complement a DFID-commissioned review conducted by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre at the University of Liverpool. More than 100 studies across Asia, Africa, and Latin America were reviewed to identify the key enablers and barriers influencing the adoption of improved stoves and clean fuel.

The 2013 Results Report: Sharing Progress on the Path to Adoption of Cleaner and More Efficient Cooking Solutions, 2014. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC). (LINK)
The 2013 Results Report is the second GACC report illuminating traction and trends in the cookstove and fuel sector. Building on results reporting first conducted in 2012, this report tracks partners’ self-reported progress in 2013 toward their shared adoption goal. As such, where possible, the report also offers year-over-year analysis of GACC partner activities, including analyses comparing new and repeat respondents to ensure that results are accurately stated and interpreted.

Sharing the Load: Public and Private Sector Roles in Financing Pro-Poor Energy Access, 2014. E Wilson. (LINK)
In this report the authors present some innovations and challenges in financing pro-poor energy access. They highlight the need to identify those population segments (low-income, subsistence, or extreme poverty) that can be reached most effectively by public, private, and combined finance models.

ARTICLES

Empowering Women through Clean Energy Stretches from India to Africa.Frontlines, Sept/Oct 2014. G Koclar. (LINK)
In 2012, USAID awarded a $1 million, three-year grant to implement the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Clean Energy (wPOWER) program in India. wPOWER aims to popularize the concept of clean energy and the environment by empowering female entrepreneurs to educate people in their communities on the benefits of using clean energy products such as clean cookstoves—and make them customers.

EVENTS

Online Q&A: What Have We Learned about Consumer Preferences of Cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia? Sept 2014. Clean Cookstove Initiative. (LINK)
The World Bank’s Clean Cookstove Initiative recently hosted an online question and answer session focused on key findings and lessons learned from two studies of consumer preferences for improved cookstoves in Bangladesh and Indonesia. The consumer preference studies were conducted by the USAID-funded WASHplus project and the Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative, respectively.

October 27, 2014 – Webinar: Chinese Literature Review on Adoption of Clean Cookstoves and Fuels. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. (LINK)
This webinar will present the results of a systematic review of Chinese language literature on the key enablers and barriers influencing the adoption of improved stoves and clean fuels. (See description of literature review under Reports, above.)

November 10-12, 2014 – India Clean Cookstoves Forum 2014. (LINK)
The ICCF 2014 will bring together practitioners, project developers, investors, banks, researchers, social enterprises, government and donor agencies, as well as foundations and NGOs to discuss the next steps to tackle the challenges hindering the large-scale adoption of improved cookstoves in India.

November 20–21, 2014 – The Cookstoves Future Summit: Fueling Markets, Catalyzing Action, Changing Lives. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (LINK)
GACC’s Cookstoves Future Summit in New York City will bring leaders from across the international community together to celebrate progress in spurring adoption of clean cooking solutions and galvanize further efforts to address the deadly issue of household air pollution.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Clean Cookstoves Pilot Innovation Fund Round III, 2014. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. (LINK)
GACC’s Pilot Innovation Fund (PIF) is a grant facility focused on providing funding to innovative projects that seek to develop, pilot, or test new clean cooking technologies or business models with a focus on ultimate commercial viability. The application deadline is October 31, 2014, 6 pm EST. The PIF will provide funding up to $150,000 to at least five qualifying organizations. Download the full RFP.

Data Mapping Energy Access Projects in Humanitarian Settings, 2014. SAFE Initiative. (LINK)
The SAFE Initiative (Safe Access to Fuels and Energy) is data mapping all energy access projects in humanitarian environments. If your organization or company has been involved in providing energy access through clean cookstoves in a relief setting, and you want to be included in this public data map, please contact Aneri Patel at patel@unfoundation.org. All submissions will be uploaded here.

UNC Public Policy Faculty Receive $2.5 Million from NIEHS, 2014. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (LINK)
University of North Carolina Public Policy Professor Sudhanshu Handa and Assistant Professor Pamela Jagger received $2.5 million in funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to support their project, the Health and Poverty Effects of a Large-Scale Cookstove Initiative in Rwanda. The project evaluates the impact of a private sector cookstove and fuel distribution intervention on exposure to airborne pollutants, health, and poverty.

INFOGRAPHICS

Invest in the Future of Clean Cooking, 2014. Global Alliance for Clean Cooking. (LINK)
This infographic depicts the benefits of investing in market-based solutions to increase the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment.

Can Currently Available Advanced Combustion Biomass Cook-Stoves Provide Health Relevant Exposure Reductions?

28 October 2014 13:56 (America/New_York)

Can Currently Available Advanced Combustion Biomass Cook-Stoves Provide Health Relevant Exposure Reductions? Results from Initial Assessment of Select Commercial Models in India. Ecohealth. 2014 Oct 8.

Authors: Sambandam S, Balakrishnan K, et al.

World Health Organisation Collaborating Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Sri Ramachandra University, No.1, Ramachandra Nagar, Porur, Chennai, 600116, India, sankars@ehe.org.in.

Household air pollution from use of solid fuels is a major contributor to the national burden of disease in India. Currently available models of advanced combustion biomass cook-stoves (ACS) report significantly higher efficiencies and lower emissions in the laboratory when compared to traditional cook-stoves, but relatively little is known about household level exposure reductions, achieved under routine conditions of use.

We report results from initial field assessments of six commercial ACS models from the states of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh in India. We monitored 72 households (divided into six arms to each receive an ACS model) for 24-h kitchen area concentrations of PM2.5 and CO before and (1-6 months) after installation of the new stove together with detailed information on fixed and time-varying household characteristics. Detailed surveys collected information on user perceptions regarding acceptability for routine use.

While the median percent reductions in 24-h PM2.5 and CO concentrations ranged from 2 to 71% and 10-66%, respectively, concentrations consistently exceeded WHO air quality guideline values across all models raising questions regarding the health relevance of such reductions. Most models were perceived to be sub-optimally designed for routine use often resulting in inappropriate and inadequate levels of use. Household concentration reductions also run the risk of being compromised by high ambient backgrounds from community level solid-fuel use and contributions from surrounding fossil fuel sources.

Results indicate that achieving health relevant exposure reductions in solid-fuel using households will require integration of emissions reductions with ease of use and adoption at community scale, in cook-stove technologies. Imminent efforts are also needed to accelerate the progress towards cleaner fuels.

The Use of Behaviour Change Techniques in Clean Cooking Interventions to Achieve Health, Economic and Environmental Impact

7 October 2014 14:16 (America/New_York)

The Use of Behaviour Change Techniques in Clean Cooking Interventions to Achieve Health, Economic
and Environmental Impact: A review of the evidence and scorecard of effectiveness, 2014. (Executive summary)

Authors: Nicholas J. Goodwin, Sarah Ellen O’Farrell, Kirstie Jagoe, et al.

The aim of this study was to review the use of behaviour change approaches in clean cooking interventions in resource-poor settings. Using publicly available data, the report synthesises the evidence of the use of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) for human and environmental outcomes and impact. The report includes a set of case studies on selected interventions that use BCTs and applies a scorecard to assess the effectiveness of each intervention’s approach to behaviour change. The report then discusses the findings from the review and case studies and includes a set of recommendations for the clean cooking sector to consider. A planned task was to compare interventions through an economic return on investment (cost-benefit) lens, however the availability and consistency of data did not make this possible.

 

 

Behavioral Attitudes and Preferences in Cooking Practices with Traditional Open-Fire Stoves in Peru, Nepal, and Kenya

7 October 2014 14:04 (America/New_York)

Behavioral Attitudes and Preferences in Cooking Practices with Traditional Open-Fire Stoves in Peru, Nepal, and Kenya: Implications for Improved Cookstove Interventions. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(10).

Authors: Evelyn L. Rhodes, Robert Dreibelbis, Elizabeth M. Klasen, et al.

Global efforts are underway to develop and promote improved cookstoves which may reduce the negative health and environmental effects of burning solid fuels on health and the environment. Behavioral studies have considered cookstove user practices, needs and preferences in the design and implementation of cookstove projects; however, these studies have not examined the implications of the traditional stove use and design across multiple resource-poor settings in the implementation and promotion of improved cookstove projects that utilize a single, standardized stove design.

We conducted in-depth interviews and direct observations of meal preparation and traditional, open-fire stove use of 137 women aged 20–49 years in Kenya, Peru and Nepal prior in the four-month period preceding installation of an improved cookstove as part of a field intervention trial. Despite general similarities in cooking practices across sites, we identified locally distinct practices and norms regarding traditional stove use and desired stove improvements. Traditional stoves are designed to accommodate specific cooking styles, types of fuel, and available resources for maintenance and renovation. The tailored stoves allow users to cook and repair their stoves easily. Women in each setting expressed their desire for a new stove, but they articulated distinct specific alterations that would meet their needs and preferences.

Improved cookstove designs need to consider the diversity of values and needs held by potential users, presenting a significant challenge in identifying a “one size fits all” improved cookstove design. Our data show that a single stove design for use with locally available biomass fuels will not meet the cooking demands and resources available across the three sites. Moreover, locally produced or adapted improved cookstoves may be needed to meet the cooking needs of diverse populations while addressing health and environmental concerns of traditional stoves.

Household Air Pollution Causes Dose-dependent Inflammation and Altered Phagocytosis in Human Macrophages.

26 September 2014 11:11 (America/New_York)

Household Air Pollution Causes Dose-dependent Inflammation and Altered Phagocytosis in Human Macrophages. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Sep 25.

Authors: Rylance J1, Fullerton DG, Scriven J, Aljurayyan AN, Mzinza D, Barrett S, Wright AK, Wootton DG, Glennie SJ, Baple K, Knott A, Mortimer K, Russell DG, Heyderman RS, Gordon SB.

1Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Respiratory Infection , Pembroke Place , Liverpool, United Kingdom, L3 5QA , 0044 1517053712 , Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi, University of Liverpool, Respiratory Medicine, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, United Kingdom ; jrylance@liv.ac.uk.

Background – Three billion people are exposed to household air pollution from biomass fuel use. Exposure is associated with higher incidence of pneumonia, and possibly tuberculosis. Understanding mechanisms underlying these defects would improve preventive strategies.

Methods – We used human alveolar macrophages obtained from healthy Malawian adults exposed naturally to household air pollution, and compared with human monocyte-derived macrophages exposed in vitro to respirable-sized particulates. Cellular inflammatory response was assessed by: IL-6 and IL-8 production in response to particulate challenge; phagocytosis of fluorescent-labelled beads and intraphagosomal oxidative burst capacity; ingestion and killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis measured by microscopy and quantitative culture. Particulate ingestion was quantified by digital image analysis.

Results – We were able to reproduce the carbon loading of naturally exposed alveolar macrophages by in vitro exposure of monocyte derived macrophages. Fine carbon black induced IL-8 release from monocyte derived and alveolar macrophages (p<0.05), with similar magnitude responses (log10 increases of 0.93 [SEM 0.2] vs 0.74 [SEM 0.19] respectively). Phagocytosis of pneumococci and mycobacteria was impaired with higher particulate loading. High particulate loading corresponded with a lower oxidative burst capacity (p=0.0015). There was no overall effect on killing of M. tuberculosis.

Conclusion Alveolar macrophage function is altered by particulate loading. Our macrophage model is comparable morphologically to the in vivo uptake of particulates. Wood smoke exposed cells demonstrate reduced phagocytosis but unaffected mycobacterial killing, suggesting defects related to chronic wood smoke inhalation limited to specific innate immune functions.

Impacts of household energy programs on fuel consumption in Benin, Uganda, and India

26 September 2014 11:05 (America/New_York)

Impacts of household energy programs on fuel consumption in Benin, Uganda, and India. Energy for Sustainable Development, Available online 16 September 2014, In Press, Corrected Proof — Note to users

Charity Garland-a, Kirstie Jagoe-a, Emmy Wasirwa-b, Raphael Nguyen-c, Christa Roth-d, Ashwin Patel-e, Nisha Shah-f, Elisa Derby-g, John Mitchell-h, David Pennise-a, Michael A. Johnson-a,

a Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, 2124 Kittredge St #57, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
b Wana Energy Solutions, Uganda
c Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), FABEN Project, Benin
d Food and Fuel Consultants, Germany
e Alpha Renewable Energy, Pvt. Ltd., India
f Self Employed Women’s Association, India
g Winrock International, USA
h United States Environmental Protection Agency, USA

This paper presents results of three United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) sponsored field studies which assessed the fuel consumption impacts of household energy programs in Benin, Uganda, and Gujarat, India. These studies expand on a previous round of U.S. EPA supported efforts to build field testing capacity and collect stove performance data in Peru, Nepal, and Maharashtra, India. Daily fuel consumption estimates of traditional and intervention technologies were made using the Kitchen Performance Test (KPT) protocol to determine the potential fuel savings associated with the respective programs.

The programs in Benin and Gujarat, India resulted in significant fuel savings of approximately 29% and 61%, respectively. In Uganda, the homes using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumed approximately 31% less charcoal than those not using LPG, although the total energy consumption per household was similar between the baseline and LPG user groups.

24 Hours of Reality: Field Report – Cleaning up the Cookstove (Video)

26 September 2014 10:57 (America/New_York)

Published on Sep 16, 2014 – http://www.24Hoursofreality.org. Watch to see how a simple solution can improve life for the nearly 3 billion people who rely on wood- or coal-powered open cookstoves, and reduce carbon pollution along the way.

Consumer Preferences of Cookstoves in Bangladesh & Indonesia – Q&A session, Sept 30 & Oct 1, 2014

24 September 2014 15:34 (America/New_York)

We are pleased to announce the upcoming Q&A session next Tuesday-Wednesday, brought to you by Clean Stove Initiative and WASHplus!

You are more than welcomed to join our online discussion (click here), register to be part of the community (click here) and check out more resources we have on the e-platform (click here).

A biochar-producing, dung-burning cookstove for humanitarian purposes

24 September 2014 12:15 (America/New_York)

A biochar-producing, dung-burning cookstove for humanitarian purposes. Humanitarian Technology: Science, Systems and Global Impact, 2014, HumTech2014

Cristian Birzer*, Paul Medwell, Gregory MacFarlane, Matthew Read, Josh Wilkey, Matthew Higgins, Tomas West
The School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 5005, Australia

Over three billion people worldwide cook with traditional stoves, which typically consist of three stones and an open fire. The harmful emissions produced from these types of stoves are known to cause fatal illnesses. Traditional stoves claim the lives of up to 4 million people every year and cause the death of more children under the age of five than any other single cause. In addition, widespread land degradation and deforestation have resulted from inefficient fuel consumption of traditional stoves. In order to address these issues, investigations into the use of dung-burning top-lit up-draft (TLUD) microgasifier cookstoves, that produces biochar as a byproduct, have been conducted at the University of Adelaide. Results indicate that dung from various grazing
animals burnt in the TLUD stove have similar heating properties, implying that the stove is applicable to a wide client-base. Additionally, biochar from cow-dung combustion is as good, if not better than some commercially available biochar.

Household air pollution and lung cancer in China

24 September 2014 12:09 (America/New_York)

Household air pollution and lung cancer in China: a review of studies in Xuanwei. Chinese Journal of Cancer, Ahead of Print, Sept 2014. DOI: 10.5732/cjc.014.10132

Authors: Wei Jie Seow, Wei Hu, Roel Vermeulen, et al.

Over half of the world’s population is exposed to household air pollution from the burning of solid fuels at home. Household air pollution from solid fuel use is a leading risk factor for global disease and remains a major public health problem, especially in low- and mid-income countries. This is a particularly serious problem in China, where many people in rural areas still use coal for household heating and cooking.

This review focuses on several decades of research carried out in Xuanwei County, Yunnan Province, where household coal use is a major source of household air pollution and where studies have linked household air pollution exposure to high rates of lung cancer. We conducted a series of case-control and cohort studies in Xuanwei to characterize the lung cancer risk in this population and the factors associated with it. We found lung cancer risk to vary substantially between different coal types, with a higher risk associated with smoky (i.e., bituminous) coal use compared to smokeless (i.e., anthracite) coal use.

The installation of a chimney in homes resulted in a substantial reduction in lung cancer incidence and mortality. Overall, our research underscores the need among existing coal users to improve ventilation, use the least toxic fuel possible, and eventually move toward the use of cleaner fuels, such as gas and electricity.

Dr. Bing Gu, CEO California Sunlight

24 September 2014 12:00 (America/New_York)

Published on Sep 3, 2014
Dr. Bing Gu was interviewed at the Sacramento Solar Cooking Festival sponsored by Solar Cookers International. His Fresnel lens solar thermal cooking device can reach 600 degrees F, can track the sun and can store heat for nighttime cooking. He is seeking investors so California Sunlight can begin mass production.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Solar Cooker Research

24 September 2014 11:56 (America/New_York)

Published on Sep 22, 2014 – Under the direction of physics professor Dr. Peter Schwartz, a team of physics and engineering students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California are conducting research on solar parabolic reflector technologies that could be used by people in developing countries to heat water and cook food using only the light of the sun. They are also researching hybrid technologies that combine the use of a solar reflector and a rocket stove for uninterrupted indoor cooking.

Household Air Pollution Commission – The Lancet, Sept 3, 2014

18 September 2014 11:31 (America/New_York)

Household Air Pollution Commission – The Lancet, Sept 3, 2014 Executive Summary Nearly 3 billion people worldwide are exposed to the threat of household air pollution (HAP) every day from the use of solid fuel for cooking, heating, and lighting. HAP is a major contributor to global figures for morbidity and mortality, with major effects on respiratory symptoms and disease. This first Commission of The Lancet Respiratory Medicine discusses the toxic effects of HAP in low-income and middle-income countries, ways to measure pollution, and solutions to tackle the problem. While a linked Comment reminds readers that HAP can also occur in high-income countries. Comment Breaking new ground to promote change Emma Grainger, Louise Rishton, Jane Godsland, Diana Stanley

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Household air quality in high-income countries: forgotten but not gone Neil Schluger

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Commission Respiratory risks from household air pollution in low and middle income countries Stephen B Gordon, Nigel G Bruce, Jonathan Grigg, Patricia L Hibberd, Om P Kurmi, Kin-bong Hubert Lam, Kevin Mortimer, Kwaku Poku Asante, Kalpana Balakrishnan, John Balmes, Naor Bar-Zeev, Michael N Bates, Patrick N Breysse, Sonia Buist, Zhengming Chen, Deborah Havens, Darby Jack, Surinder Jindal, Haidong Kan, Sumi Mehta, Peter Moschovis, Luke Naeher, Archana Patel, Rogelio Perez-Padilla, Daniel Pope, Jamie Rylance, Sean Semple, William J Martin II

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Children’s Respiratory Health After an Efficient Biomass Stove (Patsari) Intervention

18 September 2014 11:24 (America/New_York)

Children’s Respiratory Health After an Efficient Biomass Stove (Patsari) Intervention. Ecohealth. 2014 Sep 9.

Authors: Schilmann A1, Riojas-Rodríguez H, Ramírez-Sedeño K, Berrueta VM, Pérez-Padilla R, Romieu I.
1Environmental Health Department, National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Av. Universidad 655, Santa María Ahuacatitlán, 62100, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.

Household use of fuelwood represents a socio-ecological condition with important health effects mainly in rural areas from developing countries. One approach to tackle this problem has been the introduction of efficient wood-burning chimney stoves. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the introduction of Patsari stoves on the respiratory health of young children in highlands Michoacán, Mexico. A total of 668 households in six rural communities in a fuelwood using region were selected and randomized to receive an improved stove (Patsari) or rely entirely on the traditional wood fire until the end of the follow-up including 10 monthly visits.

Adherence to the intervention was variable over the follow-up time. The actual use of the Patsari stove as reported by the mother showed a protective effect mainly on the upper and lower respiratory infection duration (IRR URI 0.79, 95% CI 0.70-0.89, and LRI 0.41, 95% CI 0.21-0.80) compared to households that used only an open fire. Fewer days of child’s ill health represents saved time for the woman and avoided disease treatment costs for the family, as well as a decrease in public health costs due to a reduction in the frequency of patient visits.

Results of Laboratory Testing of 15 Cookstove Designs in Accordance with the ISO/IWA Tiers of Performance

18 September 2014 11:21 (America/New_York)

Results of Laboratory Testing of 15 Cookstove Designs in Accordance with the ISO/IWA Tiers of Performance. Ecohealth. 2014 Sep 12.

Authors: Still D1, Bentson S, Li H.
1 – Aprovecho Research Center, 76132 Blue Mountain School Rd, Cottage Grove, OR, 97424, USA, deankstill@gmail.com.

The widespread adoption and sustained use of modern cookstoves has the potential to reduce harmful effects to climate, health, and the well-being of approximately one-third of the world’s population that currently rely on biomass fuel for cooking and heating. In an effort to understand and develop cleaner burning and more efficient cookstoves, 15 stove design and fuel/loading combinations were evaluated in the laboratory using the International Workshop Agreement’s five-tiered (0-4) rating system for fuel use and emissions.

The designs evaluated include rocket-type combustion chamber models including reduced firepower, sunken pots, and chimneys (three stoves); gasifier-type combustion chambers using prepared fuels in the form of wood pellets (four stoves); forced draft stoves with a small electric fan (five stoves); and a single insulated charcoal stove with preheated secondary air.

It was found that a charcoal burning stove was the only stove to meet all the Tier 4 levels of performance. Achieving over 40% thermal efficiency at high power was made possible by reducing firepower and gaps around the pot, although batch-fed stoves generally do not “turn down” for optimal low power performance. While all stoves met Tier 4 for carbon monoxide, only stoves equipped with electrical fans reduced respirable particulate matter to Tier 4 levels. Finally, stoves with chimneys and integrated pots were fuel efficient and virtually eliminated indoor emissions. It is hoped that these design techniques will be useful in further development and evolution of high-performance cookstove designs.

The Critical Importance of Cleaner Fuels

11 September 2014 11:33 (America/New_York)

The Critical Importance of Cleaner Fuels | Source: S Patel and S Mehta, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Aug 2014.

Preliminary exposure results from Alliance-supported child survival research studies in Ghana, Nigeria, and Nepal were unveiled at a special symposium held in Seattle at the annual meeting of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), the premier technical conference for environmental health researchers.  Results indicate substantial reductions in exposure associated with the adoption of cleaner cookstoves and fuels.  Moreover, researchers reported high rates of study compliance, and solid evidence that study participants were actively using the intervention stoves.  There were also discussions on the implication of these results for achieving the World Health Organizations (WHO) indoor air quality guidelines for household fuel combustion, with a special emphasis on estimating the impact of ‘stove stacking’, or continued use of traditional cookstoves, on the ability to meet air quality guidelines.

These study results will have far reaching implications for Alliance focus countries such as Ghana, Kenya, China, and India, where policy makers and health professionals are well-positioned to increase awareness of the links between household air pollution, fuel switching, and health.  For example, given Ghana’s commitment to scaling adoption of clean cookstoves, and providing 50% of the population with access to clean fuels by 2020, the study will provide policy-relevant information for Ghana and the broader global public health community.

Respiratory risks from household air pollution in low and middle income countries

11 September 2014 11:23 (America/New_York)

Respiratory risks from household air pollution in low and middle income countries. Lancet Respir Med. 2014 Sep 2. pii: S2213-2600(14)70168-7. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(14)70168-7.

Authors: Gordon SB, Bruce NG, et al.

A third of the world’s population uses solid fuel derived from plant material (biomass) or coal for cooking, heating, or lighting. These fuels are smoky, often used in an open fire or simple stove with incomplete combustion, and result in a large amount of household air pollution when smoke is poorly vented. Air pollution is the biggest environmental cause of death worldwide, with household air pollution accounting for about 3·5-4 million deaths every year. Women and children living in severe poverty have the greatest exposures to household air pollution.

In this Commission, we review evidence for the association between household air pollution and respiratory infections, respiratory tract cancers, and chronic lung diseases. Respiratory infections (comprising both upper and lower respiratory tract infections with viruses, bacteria, and mycobacteria) have all been associated with exposure to household air pollution. Respiratory tract cancers, including both nasopharyngeal cancer and lung cancer, are strongly associated with pollution from coal burning and further data are needed about other solid fuels. Chronic lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiectasis in women, are associated with solid fuel use for cooking, and the damaging effects of exposure to household air pollution in early life on lung development are yet to be fully described.

We also review appropriate ways to measure exposure to household air pollution, as well as study design issues and potential effective interventions to prevent these disease burdens. Measurement of household air pollution needs individual, rather than fixed in place, monitoring because exposure varies by age, gender, location, and household role. Women and children are particularly susceptible to the toxic effects of pollution and are exposed to the highest concentrations. Interventions should target these high-risk groups and be of sufficient quality to make the air clean. To make clean energy available to all people is the long-term goal, with an intermediate solution being to make available energy that is clean enough to have a health impact.

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