According to the World Health Organization, the leading killer of children worldwide in 2004 was acute respiratory infections (ARI). Epidemiological studies identify indoor air pollution (IAP) as a principal culprit, reporting powerful associations between IAP exposure and ARI symptoms. Biomass combustion within the household is thought to be the main contributor to IAP, so women who cook and the infants and children they care for are particularly affected. Black carbon (“soot”) emissions from biomass combustion with traditional cook-stoves is an important contributor to climate change as well. Despite these large health hazards, half of the world’s population and over 75% of South Asians continue to rely on dung, brush, and wood as their primary source of energy for cooking.
Rob Bailis, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Alessandro Gomez, Department of Mechanical Engineering
John Morrell, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Mushfiq Mobarak, Yale School of Management