Indoor Air Quality Updates

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from the WASHplus Project
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Indoor air pollutant exposure for life cycle assessment: regional health impact factors for households

8 October 2015 14:11 (America/New_York)

Indoor air pollutant exposure for life cycle assessment: regional health impact factors for households. Environ. Sci. Technol, October 7, 2015

Authors: Ralph K Rosenbaum, Arjen Meijer, Evangelia Demou, Stefanie Hellweg, Olivier Jolliet, Nicholas L. Lam, Manuele Margni, and Thomas E. McKone

Human exposure to indoor pollutant concentrations is receiving increasing interest in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). We address this issue by incorporating an indoor compartment into the USEtox model, as well as by providing recommended parameter values for households in four different regions of the world differing geographically, economically, and socially. With these parameter values, intake fractions and comparative toxicity potentials for indoor emissions of dwellings for different air tightness levels were calculated.

The resulting intake fractions for indoor exposure vary by two orders of magnitude, due to the variability of ventilation rate, building occupation and volume. To compare health impacts as a result of indoor exposure with those from outdoor exposure, the indoor exposure characterization factors determined with the modified USEtox model were applied in a case study on cooking in non-OECD countries. This study demonstrates the appropriateness and significance of integrating indoor environments into LCA, which ensures a more holistic account of all exposure environments and allows for a better accountability of health impacts. The model, intake fractions, and characterization factors are made available for use in standard LCA studies via and in standard LCA software.

Microbiological Evaluation of Household Drinking Water Treatment in Rural China Shows Benefits of Electric Kettles

8 October 2015 14:06 (America/New_York)

Microbiological Evaluation of Household Drinking Water Treatment in Rural China Shows Benefits of Electric Kettles: A Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS One. Sept 2015.

Authors: Alasdair Cohen, Yong Tao, Qing Luo, Gemei Zhong, Jeff Romm, John M. Colford, Jr, and Isha Ray

Background – In rural China ~607 million people drink boiled water, yet little is known about prevailing household water treatment (HWT) methods or their effectiveness. Boiling, the most common HWT method globally, is microbiologically effective, but household air pollution (HAP) from burning solid fuels causes cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and black carbon emissions exacerbate climate change. Boiled water is also easily re-contaminated. Our study was designed to identify the HWT methods used in rural China and to evaluate their effectiveness.

Methods – We used a geographically stratified cross-sectional design in rural Guangxi Province to collect survey data from 450 households in the summer of 2013. Household drinking water samples were collected and assayed for Thermotolerant Coliforms (TTC), and physicochemical analyses were conducted for village drinking water sources. In the winter of 2013–2104, we surveyed 120 additional households and used remote sensors to corroborate self-reported boiling data.

Findings – Our HWT prevalence estimates were: 27.1% boiling with electric kettles, 20.3% boiling with pots, 34.4% purchasing bottled water, and 18.2% drinking untreated water (for these analyses we treated bottled water as a HWT method). Households using electric kettles had the lowest concentrations of TTC (73% lower than households drinking untreated water). Multilevel mixed-effects regression analyses showed that electric kettles were associated with the largest Log10TTC reduction (-0.60, p<0.001), followed by bottled water (-0.45, p<0.001) and pots (-0.44, p<0.01). Compared to households drinking untreated water, electric kettle users also had the lowest risk of having TTC detected in their drinking water (risk ratio, RR = 0.49, 0.34–0.70, p<0.001), followed by bottled water users (RR = 0.70, 0.53–0.93, p<0.05) and households boiling with pots (RR = 0.74, 0.54–1.02, p = 0.06).

Conclusion – As far as we are aware, this is the first HWT-focused study in China, and the first to quantify the comparative advantage of boiling with electric kettles over pots. Our results suggest that electric kettles could be used to rapidly expand safe drinking water access and reduce HAP exposure in rural China.

Are Randomized Trials Necessary to Advance Epidemiologic Research on Household Air Pollution?

8 October 2015 14:00 (America/New_York)

Are Randomized Trials Necessary to Advance Epidemiologic Research on Household Air Pollution? Curr Epidemiol Rep, Sept 2015.

Authors: Jennifer L. Peel & Jill Baumgartner & Gregory A. Wellenius & Maggie L. Clark & Kirk R. Smith

Nearly three billion people burn solid fuels in inefficient stoves for cooking and space heating. The resulting household air pollution is the third leading risk factor for mortality globally, responsible for an estimated 3.9 million premature deaths each year. Important gaps remain in our knowledge regarding the full characterization of diseases impacted by household air pollution as well as the health benefits associated with specific interventions.

Although policy makers and funding agencies often call for more randomized trials of interventions to reduce household air pollution, randomized trials for household air pollution are not feasible for certain health endpoints, may not provide the information that is needed for advancing policy, and may even lead to improper causal inference. A variety of study designs, both observational and randomized, may be useful if they include quantitative exposure measurements and appropriately track and measure stove use and other important confounders over time.

WHO calls to protect health from climate change

8 October 2015 13:56 (America/New_York)

WHO calls to protect health from climate change, October 6, 2015.

WHO calls on the global health community to add its voice to the call for a strong and effective climate agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21), that will save lives, both now and in the future. Changes to weather patterns result in extreme weather events that threaten lives and cause changes to infectious disease transmission patterns resulting in more outbreaks.

Beer, Wood, and Welfare ‒ The Impact of Improved Stove Use Among Dolo-Beer Breweries

8 October 2015 13:49 (America/New_York)

Beer, Wood, and Welfare ‒ The Impact of Improved Stove Use Among Dolo-Beer Breweries. PLoS One. Aug 2015.

Authors: Michael Grimm and Jörg Peters

Local beer breweries in Burkina Faso absorb a considerable amount of urban woodfuel demand. We assess the woodfuel savings caused by the adoption of improved brewing stoves by these micro-breweries and estimate the implied welfare effects through the woodfuel market on private households as well as the environmental effect. We find substantial wood savings among the breweries, 36% to 38% if they fully switch to an improved stove.

In absolute amounts, they save about 0.176 kg of fuelwood per litre of dolo brewed. These savings imply huge reductions in CO2-emissions and reduce the overall demand for woodfuel, which is predominantly used by the poorer strata for cooking purposes. We provide estimates for the price decrease that might result from this and show that the urban poor are likely to benefit. Thus, the intervention under study is an example for a green growth intervention with pro-poor welfare gains – something green growth strategies should look for.

2015 Service to America Medal Winner – Detailee at State Department Jacob Moss

8 October 2015 13:45 (America/New_York)

2015 Service to America Medal Winner – Detailee at State Department Jacob Moss

U.S State Dept, October 7, 2015.

Jacob Moss, an Environmental Protection Agency employee who was on detail to the Department of State, will receive the prestigious 2015 Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service at tonight’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal Awards Gala. While at the Department of State, Mr. Moss forged a coalition of federal and international agencies, countries, and corporations to bring more efficient cook stoves and cleaner burning fuels to homes in developing nations, which is protecting the environment and the health of millions of people worldwide.

The Service to America Science and Environment medal won by Mr. Moss recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to aerospace engineering, astronomy, biomedicine, economics, energy, engineering, information technology, meteorology, physics, and resource conservation. Further information on Mr. Moss’s contributions is available at:

Mr. Moss will be honored along with seven other award recipients and finalists, including Department of State “Call to Service” finalist Bridget Roddy and “Management Excellence” finalist Edward Ramotowski, at a dinner and awards ceremony this evening at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

Biogas Cook Stoves for Healthy and Sustainable Diets? A Case Study in Southern India

8 October 2015 13:41 (America/New_York)

Biogas Cook Stoves for Healthy and Sustainable Diets? A Case Study in Southern India. Front Nutr. 2015 Sep 16;2:28. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2015.00028. eCollection 2015.

Authors: Anderman TL, DeFries RS, Wood SA, Remans R, Ahuja R, Ulla SE.

Alternative cook stoves that replace solid fuels with cleaner energy sources, such as biogas, are gaining popularity in low-income settings across Asia, Africa, and South America. Published research on these technologies focuses on their potential to reduce indoor air pollution and improve respiratory health. Effects on other cooking-related aspects, such as diets and women’s time management, are less understood. In this study, in southern India, we investigate if using biogas cook stoves alters household diets and women’s time management.

We compare treatment households who are supplied with a biogas cook stove with comparison households who do not have access to these stoves, while controlling for several socio-economic factors. We find that diets of treatment households are more diverse than diets of comparison households. In addition, women from treatment households spend on average 40 min less cooking and 70 min less collecting firewood per day than women in comparison households.

This study illustrates that alongside known benefits for respiratory health, using alternative cook stoves may benefit household diets and free up women’s time. To inform development investments and ensure these co-benefits, we argue that multiple dimensions of sustainability should be considered in evaluating the impact of alternative cook stoves.

Financing Sustainable Development: Ideas for Action

2 October 2015 11:53 (America/New_York)

Financing Sustainable Development: Ideas for Action, 2015. World Bank.

Access to clean cookstove technology for citizens at the bottom of the economic pyramid can be directly improved through a participatory model of Development Impact Bonds (DIBs). This proposed bond model enhances the current structureof DIBs financially, while also building in an innovative component that supports local training, education, and knowledge sharing. Unlike previous versions of DIBs, our model not only provides enhancedfinancial access to clean cookstove technology, but also furnishes the resources Financing Sustainable Development: Ideas for Action 51to train local individuals on the maintenance, distribution, and sales of the cookstoves. This structure enables adoption to occur in a culturally sensitive,sustainable way that empowers citizen involvement and adoption. In addition,the model funds the training of local NGO workers on impact measurementto demonstrate to investors the impact of their investment.

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: Five Years of Impact 2010 – 2015

2 October 2015 11:40 (America/New_York)

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: Five Years of Impact 2010 – 2015.

In just five years, the Alliance and its partners have made significant strides toward developing a clean cookstoves and fuels sector that is poised to scale and built for sustainable growth.

The Alliance leverages a market-based approach to build a more cohesive sector, strengthening existing actors and attracting new ones to eliminate fragmentation and establish a sustainable, healthy market capable of enabling 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020.

Ghana randomized air pollution and health study (GRAPHS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

2 October 2015 11:31 (America/New_York)

Ghana randomized air pollution and health study (GRAPHS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015; 16: 420. Published online 2015 Sep 22.

Authors: Darby W. Jack, Kwaku Poku Asante, Blair J. Wylie, et al.

Background - Household air pollution exposure is a major health risk, but validated interventions remain elusive.

Methods/Design - The Ghana Randomized Air Pollution and Health Study (GRAPHS) is a cluster-randomized trial that evaluates the efficacy of clean fuels (liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG) and efficient biomass cookstoves in the Brong-Ahafo region of central Ghana. We recruit pregnant women into LPG, efficient cookstove, and control arms and track birth weight and physician-assessed severe pneumonia incidence in the first year of life. A woman is eligible to participate if she is in the first or second trimester of pregnancy and carrying a live singleton fetus, if she is the primary cook, and if she does not smoke. We hypothesize that babies born to intervention mothers will weigh more and will have fewer cases of physician-assessed severe pneumonia in the first year of life. Additionally, an extensive personal air pollution exposure monitoring effort opens the way for exposure-response analyses, which we will present alongside intention-to-treat analyses. Major funding was provided by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, The Thrasher Research Fund, and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

Discussion - Household air pollution exposure is a major health risk that requires well-tested interventions. GRAPHS will provide important new evidence on the efficacy of both efficient biomass cookstoves and LPG, and will thus help inform health and energy policies in developing countries.

Chronic Household Air Pollution Exposure Is Associated with Impaired Alveolar Macrophage Function in Malawian Non-Smokers

2 October 2015 11:27 (America/New_York)

Chronic Household Air Pollution Exposure Is Associated with Impaired Alveolar Macrophage Function in Malawian Non-Smokers. PLoS One, Sept 2015.

Authors: Jamie Rylance , Chikondi Chimpini, Sean Semple, David G. Russell, Malcolm J. Jackson, Robert S. Heyderman, Stephen B. Gordon

Background - Household air pollution in low income countries is an important cause of mortality from respiratory infection. We hypothesised that chronic smoke exposure is detrimental to alveolar macrophage function, causing failure of innate immunity. We report the relationship between macrophage function and prior smoke exposure in healthy Malawians.

Methods - Healthy subjects exposed daily to cooking smoke at home volunteered for bronchoalveolar lavage. Alveolar macrophage particulate content was measured as a known correlate of smoke exposure. Phagocytosis and intraphagosomal function (oxidative burst and proteolysis) were measured by a flow cytometric assay. Cytokine responses in macrophages were compared following re-exposure in vitro to wood smoke, before and after glutathione depletion.

Results - Volunteers had a range of alveolar macrophage particulate loading. The macrophage capacity for phagosomal oxidative burst was negatively associated with alveolar macrophage particulate content (n = 29, r2 = 0.16, p = 0.033), but phagocytosis per se and proteolytic function were unaffected. High particulate content was associated with lower baseline CXCL8 release (ratio 0.51, CI 0.29–0.89) and lower final concentrations on re-exposure to smoke in vitro (ratio 0.58, CI 0.34–0.97). Glutathione depletion augmented CXCL8 responses by 1.49x (CI 1.02–2.17) compared with wood smoke alone. This response was specific to smoke as macrophages response to LPS were not modulated by glutathione.

Conclusion - Chronic smoke exposure is associated with reduced human macrophage oxidative burst, and dampened inflammatory cytokine responses. These are critical processes in lung defence against infection and likely to underpin the relationship between air pollution and pneumonia.

SEI – Improved cookstoves in Central America: health impacts and uptake

2 October 2015 11:21 (America/New_York)

Improved cookstoves in Central America: health impacts and uptake, 2015.

Authors: Fiona Lambe (SEI) and Caroline Ochieng (SEI)

Approximately 20 million people in Central America  – more than half the region’s population – continue to rely on traditional biomass to meet their household energy needs. 86% of these are located in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

This discussion brief summarizes a desk study carried out by SEI and commissioned by the World Bank. The study distils recent research linking cleaner cookstoves to health gains at the household level and offers in sights into what type of technical solutions can have an impact in Central America. It also provides a snapshot of the sector in terms of technologies being adopted and their potential for improving household health.

Every year 37,000 people in the region die prematurely – most of them women and children – because of exposure to household air pollution. As in other parts of the world there is a long history of improved cookstove programmes in the region. However, many of these initiatives have not been adopted in a sustained way, mainly because of poor performance of cookstoves in the field, the availability of free wood, the absence of quality standards in improved cookstoves, and the lack of attention to the needs of the end user and specific socio-cultural contexts.

In a preliminary effort to fill these gaps, the authors review cookstove options in the region in terms of the potential emission reductions and health benefits they can offer, in light of the 2014 World Health Organization’s guidelines on indoor air quality.

They also identify the improved cookstoves that households are actually taking up, and analyze the factors that appear to support uptake. A summary of the results is followed by a discussion of the challenges involved in introducing improved cookstoves, both in terms of the behavioural shifts needed at the household level to do so and in establishing sustainable local markets for them.


Gender, energy and nutrition: what goes under the pot influences what comes out of the pot

2 October 2015 11:18 (America/New_York)

Gender, energy and nutrition: what goes under the pot influences what comes out of the pot, 2015.

Author: Joy ClancyPrincipal Investigator, ENERGIA Gender and Energy Research Programme

Much of the research related to promoting clean cooking fuels and more efficient stoves for women in developing countries is about providing evidence of the links between health issues and indoor air pollution. However, we don’t often look at how energy access affects health by its impact on what gets cooked.

Participating in the Milan Expo made me think outside the box in respect of gender, energy and health. The situation is far more complex than the core issues of health related to indoor air pollution. Research at CSTM has already done a lot draw attention to other issues related to fuelwood collection such as damage to spines and sexual harassment. We now have an opportunity to link up with health/nutrition experts to show how access to clean energy contributes to improved health and nutrition and how women play a key role in both dimensions.


The United States’ Commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

28 September 2015 13:50 (America/New_York)

The United States’ Commitment to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves: Year Five Progress Report

  • Link to the Fact Sheet
  • Office of the Spokesperson
  • Washington, DC
  • September 24, 2015

As the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves approaches its fifth anniversary, the United States is pleased to announce that it has not only met, but vastly exceeded that five year commitment. The U.S. investment over these five years ultimately spanned eleven federal agencies, and totaled over $114 million – well over double the original 5-year commitment. This investment includes roughly $76 million in research and efforts to develop the evidence base for clean cooking interventions, $31 million in field implementation activities, and $7 million in financing for the clean cooking sector.

This commitment has played an enormous role in positioning the Alliance to achieve its 2020 goal of enabling 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient cooking solutions. More specifically, these U.S. investments have led to significant advances in the clean cooking sector. Highlights of how each agency’s investment has spurred such progress are noted below, as well as summary investment figures for each agency.

The U.S. Secretary of State and Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the launch the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance) in 2010. As part of that launch, six U.S. federal agencies committed to cumulatively invest roughly $50 million over the following five years to help build this sector.

Looking forward, the urgency to continue this work remains. Billions of people still have no option but to cook over traditional stoves and open fires, and the World Health Organization still estimates that exposure to smoke from these stoves leads to over 4 million premature deaths each year. These exposures rank as the world’s fourth worst health risk – and the second worst for women and girls. In November 2014 the United States announced new anticipated support for the clean cooking sector and the Alliance that could result in up to $175 million in additional financing, research, and additional support through 2020 – a figure that does not include the renewal of financing commitments originally intended to conclude in 2015 (see below, OPIC). These figures are noted below as well. For all agencies, all future projected support is subject to the availability of funds.

The State Department has led a wide range of diplomatic activities to advance the Alliance and the clean cooking sector.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Leveraged U.S. diplomacy to help build and extend partnerships with many of the Alliance’s leading public and private sector partners, identify high-profile Alliance champions, raise public awareness of cookstoves by hosting events in countries across the globe, and engaging U.S. embassies to support Alliance activities in their focus countries.
  • Leveraged a Department event in January 2013 to announce up to $74 million in new public and private commitments from partners to bring 4 million clean stoves to the East Africa by 2020 and launch clean cookstove manufacturing facilities in Kenya and Lesotho.
  • Through the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER), directly supported activities to scale adoption of household energy products by increasing the number of women entrepreneurs who are able to effectively and efficiently distribute these products, including grant funding to a wPOWER Hub at the Wangaari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies and to allow the Alliance to expand its Women’s Empowerment Fund (WEF), provide gender capacity building support for WEF grantees, and support the development of robust monitoring and evaluation plans to measure impact on women and girls.
  • Worked with the Alliance to propose and launch a $2.1 million cookstoves initiative under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition that seeks to catalyze clean cooking stove technology to reduce black carbon emissions through high-level advocacy, support for new finance mechanisms, private sector innovation, and development of standards and testing protocols to provide clear criteria for evaluating black carbon emission reductions.
  • In partnership with USAID and the World Food Programme, provided funding to deliver 30,000 stoves to drought-affected women and their families in the Horn of Africa impacting a total of 200,000 individuals.

State Department Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $0.37 million
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $6.17 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: not applicable

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to leading the cookstove sector with regard to stove testing, climate and air quality research, developing international standards, and building capacity of Global Alliance Partners on stove testing in the laboratory and in the field, and on improving the design and performance of cookstoves.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Led the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA), and our 600 Partners working in 115 countries to rapidly increase the use of clean and efficient cookstoves. Integrated PCIA with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at Rio+20 in 2012. In 2010 and 2011 combined, PCIA Partners reported selling more than 6 million cookstoves, improving the health and livelihood of more than 30 million people. Organized the 5th Biennial PCIA Forum in Lima, Peru in 2011, where 351 Partners from 42 countries gathered for five days of workshops, presentations and case studies from successful programs around the world.
  • Awarded six STAR grants totalling nearly $9 million to quantify the air quality, health, and climate impacts of household burning and the benefits for health and climate of cleaner technologies.
  • Played a central role in the ongoing development of first-ever global cookstoves standards. Organized the development of an ISO International Workshop that resulted in the unanimous support for IWA11 – “Guidelines for evaluating cookstove performance.” These guidelines are the first international guidelines developed for evaluating cookstove performance. Continue to lead cookstoves standards work through ISO Technical Committee 285 “Standardization in the field of cookstoves and clean cooking solutions.”
  • Played a lead role in establishing the global infrastructure for cookstove/fuel testing. Launched independent testing lab and published data on air pollutant emissions and fuel efficiency – this information was essential in establishing IWA11 while formal cookstoves standards are being developed. Organized 16 regional workshops on stove testing in the laboratory and in the field, and on improving the design and performance of cookstoves; many workshops were followed by extensive field testing (with results published in peer reviewed journals). Provided technical support to build capacity in international Regional Testing and Knowledge Centers – many co-sponsored by the Alliance.
  • Published “Black Carbon Report to Congress” in 2012, a seminal report that summarized available scientific information on the climate and health impacts of black carbon, including the important contribution home cooking and heating have on black carbon emissions.
  • Organized 18 webinars to share best practices on a wide variety of cookstove-related initiatives with more than 1,200 participants from more than 900 organizations.

EPA Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $6.0 million
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $16.54 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: $ 15 million

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the adoption of affordable stoves that require less fuel to meet household energy needs and release fewer pollutants, as a means to improve health, reduce environmental degradation, mitigate climate change, foster economic growth, and empower women.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • USAID mission programs in Haiti and Bangladesh have worked to build sustainable markets for cleaner and more efficient stoves and alternative fuels, primarily by strengthening local private-sector capacity to manufacture and sell improved stoves. In Haiti, over 36,000 households bought efficient biomass stoves, and over 78,000 households converted from charcoal to LPG. In Bangladesh, five manufacturers are now marketing new stove designs, and have sold over 18,000 stoves. Several of these stoves have now been accepted for dissemination by the government’s Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), which is expected to increase sales substantially.
  • USAID’s Developing a Sustainable Cookstove Sector (DSCS) Program has helped increase financing available for cookstove enterprises and consumers in Kenya. DSCS facilitated the establishment of loan facilities with the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives to help cooperative members purchase stoves, and with the Micro Enterprise Support Programme Trust, which is providing working capital to cookstove distributors. Also with support from DSCS, a targeted consumer loan product for stoves has been rolled out to 72 Equity Bank branches throughout Kenya. Together these financing options have enabled the sale of over 15,000 efficient stoves so far.
  • USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV), an open innovation fund that sources, tests, and scales breakthrough solutions to global development challenges, has awarded $3.2 million to four grantees working to increase use and grow the cookstove markets in Burkina Faso, India, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Kenya. The grants resulted in the sale of over 50,000 stoves and enabled the grantees to refine their technologies and strengthen their business models.
  • USAID’s Global Health Bureau has led research to provide greater understanding of the key drivers for adoption and use of clean cooking fuels and technologies. In Uganda key concerns for clean cookstove acquisition included price and fuel availability while key enablers included free trials, cooking demonstrations, and promotion by respected community members. Research from northern India suggested that key drivers for adoption included decreased fuel consumption and faster cooking times. Ongoing research will identify enablers and barriers to the exclusive and sustained use of LPG as a replacement to biomass-fueled cooking in households.

USAID Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $9.0 million
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $29.85 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: mobilize up to $125 million in new private financing

The Department of Health and Human Services supports the Alliance through health research, evaluation, and training activities of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are supporting health research and training to improve the health and lives of those at risk from household burning of solid fuels.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Supporting significant research projects on health benefits of clean cooking interventions in half a dozen countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These include interventional and observational studies, exposure science, adoption and use, and projects related to building the infrastructure for household air pollution-related research and capacity strengthening platforms.
  • Engaging partners in this research, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases.
  • Launching a Clean Cooking Implementation Science Network (ISN) of international research investigators and implementers engaged in household air pollution projects. The aim is to accelerate the science of clean cooking uptake and appropriate use to provide guidance to the wider community research, policy and practice communities. The ISN has a particular focus on clean fuels uptake.

NIH Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $24.7 million
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $36.6 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: $30 million

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are evaluating cookstove programs to better understand their public health benefits and key determinants of adoption, assessing the potential of scaling new technologies and capacity, and engaging country Ministries of Health and other partners to promote reduction of HAP as part of the global health agenda.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Provided technical expertise and assistance to the Alliance in the development of its 5-year strategic plan, specifically focusing on the public health, applied health science, and evaluation components that are needed to substantially improve the evidence base that clean and safe cooking will provide a significant health benefit to the world’s poorest populations.
  • Conducted comprehensive evaluation of six new biomass stoves in Kenya, including evaluation of stove emissions, stove use, personal exposure, biomarkers, and qualitative data on stove preference and adoption. This study contributed to advancing the cookstoves sector evidence base regarding evaluation and integration of quantitative and qualitative findings. Five scientific papers are currently pending publication.
  • Provided technical assistance to evaluation of pilot LPG scale-up project with University of California, San Francisco and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. This project uses women entrepreneurs to market LPG stoves and disseminate health messaging around clean and safe cooking.
  • Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of India and the United States on environmental and occupational health. Discussions underway on two potential LPG scale-up projects in rural India to begin in 2016 in collaboration with various partners including the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas.
  • Developed burn injury surveillance pilot project in India in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

CDC Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $1 million
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $5.43 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: $5 million

The Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) is spurring development of low emission, high efficiency cookstoves through research in areas such as combustion, heat transfer, and materials development.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • S. DOE funding has supported the development of 11 innovative prototype cookstoves that aim to meet user’s needs for cost, fuel source, features, durability, and aspirational value as well as field-validated performance such as emissions, efficiency, and safety.
  • With U.S. DOE support, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory built and commissioned a world-class laboratory for rapid testing of stove emissions and stove efficiency.
  • S. DOE funding supported the testing of over 15 different materials combinations which resulted in the identification of at least one material that offers promise in future cookstoves offering improved corrosion resistance over state-of-the-art cookstove materials at lower costs.
  • S. DOE supported research aimed at understanding the underlying combustion physics of cookstoves has resulted in the development of a computationally light 4th order Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool to assist in future cookstove design.
  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) work supported by U.S. DOE has resulted in the development of a Platform for Integrated Cookstove Assessment (PICA) designed to meet the need for stove measurement tools that facilitate and streamline critical data collection, and to make it possible to integrate, analyze and manipulate data from a variety of monitoring and sensor devices.

U.S. DOE Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: $12.5 million
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $10.6 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: not applicable

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will provide up to $50 million in debt financing or insurance that meet their credit and lending standards over five years to support projects that provide clean, consistent, and affordable access to energy and energy savings through the manufacture, sale, and purchase of cookstoves.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Loan to Burn Manufacturing – OPIC committed and has now fully disbursed a loan of $3 million to Burn Manufacturing to support its manufacture and sale of high quality cookstoves in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa.
  • Loan to Envirofit – In 2015, OPIC committed a loan of $4 million to Envirofit. It is anticipated that the loan will be closed and an initial disbursement made prior to the end of 2015. The loan will support Envirofit’s expansion of production and sales of cookstoves in various markets in which it is operating.

OPIC Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2011: up to $50 million
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $7 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: renewing commitment of up to $50 million

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is supporting research related to the climate, air quality and health benefits of the adoption of clean cookstoves.

Major Accomplishments, 2010-2015:

  • Awarded nearly $1.5 million for a study in Ghana to examine the scaled-up air quality and health impacts of clean cookstoves adoption.
  • Awarded nearly $250,000 for a study to understand the aerosol absorption in biomass burning plumes through measurements of albedo effects, coatings, and brown carbon.

NSF Funding:

  • Original Five-Year Commitment in 2010: [not applicable]
  • Actual Five-Year Investment: $1.75 million
  • Additional Support Anticipated Through 2020: not applicable

Additional Federal Agencies Providing Support to the Clean Cooking Sector:

  • The Peace Corps works with community members (including masons, small enterprises, and community-based women’s/other groups) to create demand for, construct and maintain improved cookstoves, provides ongoing support to sustain use of these cookstoves, and helps low-income families, schools, and others access grants to reduce the cost of them.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is partnering with scientists in other countries to monitor global black carbon emissions and assess the climate impacts and benefits of switching to clean cookstoves by: developing instrumentation quantifying corresponding changes in soot emissions; characterizing the properties of the soot produced; quantifying the climate impacts and evaluating the climate benefits of soot emission reductions; and measuring aerosol equivalent black carbon continuously at 30 sites around the Earth.
  • As part of its global strategy to optimize natural resource conservation and agricultural productivity, theDepartment of Agriculture is lending its technical expertise on key policy and regulatory questions facing the cook stove sector and helping align the Alliance with ongoing international efforts that promote the sustainable production and use of clean burning biomass cooking fuels.

Behavior Change for Clean Cooking Panel Discussion, Lima, Peri, May 2015

18 September 2015 11:22 (America/New_York)

Behavior Change for Clean Cooking Panel Discussion, Lima, Peru, May 2015

On May 4, 2015, the USAID Translating Research into Action Project (TRAction) sponsored a panel discussion on behavior change communication in the clean cooking sector. The panel discussion was part of a workshop in Lima, Peru hosted by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, ‘Beyond Distribution: Ensuring and Evaluating the Adoption of Clean Cooking and its Benefits’.

Assessing Consumer Needs, Preferences and Willingness to Pay for ICS in Bangladesh. In this presentation, Julia Rosenbaum from the USAID WASHPlus Project, FHI360 discusses findings from a study on perceived and desired stove attributes and willingness to pay for improved stoves in Bangladesh. Co-authors on the paper presented include Julia Rosenbaum, Elisa Derby, and Karabi Dutta. | Video |

Behavior Change Approaches to Facilitate Clean Cooking and Reduce Household Air Pollution. In this presentation, Julia Rosenbaum from the USAID WASHPlus Project, FHI360 provides an overview of behavior change in the clean cooking sector. | Video |

The Role of Mixed Methods in Improved Cookstove Research. In this presentation, Debbi Stanistreet from the University of Liverpool summarizes how qualitative research methods can supplement traditional quantitative findings for better understanding clean cooking behavior. Co-authors on the paper presented include Debbi Stanistreet, Lirije Hyseni, Michelle Bashin, Ibrahim Sadumah, Daniel Pope, Michael Sage, and Nigel Bruce. | Video |

Advancing Communication and Behavior Change Strategies for Cleaner Cooking. In this presentation, Sumi Mehta from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves provides a brief background on household air pollution, as well as an overview of a recently published special issue of the Journal of Health Communication. The special issue highlights the importance of behavior change and communication for increasing clean cooking adoption through a series of manuscripts. | Video |

Piloting Improved Cookstoves in India. In this presentation, Subhrendu Pattanayak from Duke University discusses findings from a pilot study testing the effectiveness of social marketing strategies for promoting improved cookstoves in India. Co-authors on the paper presented include Jessica Lewis, Vasundhara Bhojvaid, Nina Brooks, Ipsita Das, Marc Jeuland, Omkar Patange and Subhrendu Pattanayak. | Video |

Behavior Change Approaches for Uptake and Use of Clean Cookstoves and Fuels in Uganda. On behalf of the PATH research team, Michael Johnson from the Berkeley Air Monitoring Group discusses findings from an evaluation of clean cooking behavior change interventions in Uganda. Co-authors on the paper presented include Allen Namagembe, Nancy Muller, Lisa Mueller Scott, Greg Zwisler, Michael Johnson, Jennifer Arney, Dana Charron, and Emmanuel Mugisha. | Video |

Guidance for Linking Stove Usage with Impacts. In this presentation, Michael Johnson from the Berkeley Air Monitoring Group presents findings on how much stove usage is required to meet air pollution guidelines. He describes how behavior change is needed to help achieve sufficient stove usage. Ranyee Chiang from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves was a co-author on the paper. | Video |

Advocacy in 2015 – Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

18 September 2015 10:58 (America/New_York)

Advocacy in 2015 – Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Published on Sep 14, 2015 – Learn about the efforts of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and ENERGIA to integrate clean cooking into the major global moments of 2015. The information and positions presented during this webinar will provide insight on the Alliance and ENERGIA’s advocacy strategies and a clear picture of why we are calling for greater support.

Presenters will discuss in detail how clean cooking fits into the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (the Global Goals). A key component of the Global Goals will be the indicators we use to measure them. The Alliance and ENERGIA are contributing to the work of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGI) by jointly advocating for the consistent and accurate inclusion of cooking energy throughout the Post-2015 indicator framework.

Willingness to Pay for Cookstoves and Fuels Webinar

18 September 2015 10:40 (America/New_York)

Willingness to Pay for Cookstoves and Fuels Webinar

On August 5, 2015 Winrock International and the U.S. EPA hosted a webinar titled “Willingness to Pay for Cookstoves and Fuels”.

Theresa Beltramo from UNHCR, Elisa Derby from Winrock International, Pam Jagger from the University of North Carolina, and Julia Rosenbaum from FHI 360 discussed the primary objectives and methodologies for assessing willingness to pay, and results, challenges, and lessons learned from research studies from Bangladesh, Malawi, and Uganda.

You can view the full recording of the event HERE. Presentation slides and Questions and Answers from the webinar are available in PDF format below.

For more information, please refer to the following web resources:

Attachment Size Q&A_Webinar_5August2015.pdf 531.49 KB Webinar_8August2015_WTP.pdf 2.66 MB


Cookstoves illustrate the need for a comprehensive carbon market

8 September 2015 12:57 (America/New_York)

Cookstoves illustrate the need for a comprehensive carbon market. Env Res Lett, Aug 2015

Authors: Luke Sanford and Jennifer Burney

Existing carbon offset protocols for improved cookstoves do not require emissions testing. They are based only on estimated reductions in the use of non-renewable biomass generated by a given stove, and use simplistic calculations to convert those fuel savings to imputed emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Yet recent research has shown that different cookstoves vary tremendously in their combustion quality, and thus in their emissions profiles of both CO2 and other products of incomplete combustion. Given the high global warming potential of some of these non-CO2 emissions, offset protocols that do not account for combustion quality may thus not be assigning either appropriate absolute or relative climate values to different technologies.

We use statistical resampling of recent emissions studies to estimate the actual radiative forcing impacts of traditional and improved cookstoves. We compare the carbon offsets generated by protocols in the four carbon markets that currently accept cookstove offsets (Clean Development Mechanism, American Carbon Registry, Verified Carbon Standard, and Gold Standard) to a theoretical protocol that also accounts for emissions of carbonaceous aerosols and carbon monoxide, using appropriate statistical techniques to estimate emissions factor distributions from the literature.

We show that current protocols underestimate the climate value of many improved cookstoves and fail to distinguish between (i.e., assign equal offset values to) technologies with very different climate impacts. We find that a comprehensive carbon accounting standard would generate significantly higher offsets for some improved cookstove classes than those generated by current protocols, and would create much larger separation between different cookstove classes.

Finally, we provide compelling evidence for the inclusion of renewable biomass into current protocols, and propose guidelines for the statistics needed in future emissions tests in order to accurately estimate the climate impact (and thus offsets generated by) cookstoves and other household energy technologies.

Stunting is associated with poor outcomes in childhood pneumonia

8 September 2015 12:51 (America/New_York)

Stunting is associated with poor outcomes in childhood pneumonia. Trop Med Intl Health, Oct 2015.

Authors: Peter P. Moschovis, et al.

Objective – Stunting affects 26.7% of children worldwide, and little is known about its effects on the outcomes of childhood pneumonia. We evaluated the effect of stunting on the outcomes of pneumonia among children enrolled in two large clinical trials.

Methods – We analysed data from two WHO and USAID-sponsored inpatient treatment trials, the Severe Pneumonia Evaluation Antimicrobial Research study (n = 958) and the Amoxicillin Penicillin Pneumonia International Study (n = 1702), which enrolled children aged 2–59 months across 16 sites in LMICs. We assessed the effect of stunting (height-for-age Z score < −2) on treatment outcome and time to resolution of hypoxaemic pneumonia.

Results – Among 2542 (96%) children with valid data for height, 28% were stunted and 12.8% failed treatment by 5 days. The failure rate among stunted patients was 16.0% vs. 11.5% among non-stunted patients [unadjusted RR = 1.24 (95% CI 1.08, 1.41); adjusted RR = 1.28 (95% CI 1.10, 1.48)]. An inverse relationship was observed between height and failure rates, even among non-stunted children. Among 845 patients with hypoxaemic pneumonia, stunting was associated with a lower probability of normalisation of respiratory rate [HR = 0.63 (95% CI 0.52, 0.75)] and oxygen saturation [HR = 0.74 (95% CI 0.61, 0.89)].

Conclusions – Stunting increases the risk of treatment failure and is associated with a longer course of recovery in children with pneumonia. Strategies to decrease stunting may decrease the burden of adverse outcomes in childhood pneumonia in low-resource settings.

Dutch Social Entrepreneur Works To Save Lives In Africa With High Tech Stove

8 September 2015 12:48 (America/New_York)

Dutch Social Entrepreneur Works To Save Lives In Africa With High Tech Stove, 2015.

Judith Joan Walker, is the Director and COO of African Clean Energy. Walker’s African Clean Energy stove burns a variety of fuels, including wood and charcoal, but with no emissions. The stove also features a small solar panel that can be placed out a nearby window or on the roof, powering a small fan in the stove as well as a USB device charger and an LED light


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