Indoor Cooking Stoves Kill 2 Million Yearly: Study
WASHINGTON — Primitive cooking stoves are used throughout half the world and kill more people per year — about two million — than malaria, said a study published in the United States on Thursday.
Three billion people worldwide cook indoors by burning solid fuels such as wood, charcoal or dung, yet little public awareness surrounds what the World Health Organization describes as the globe’s top environmental killer.
The smoke that pours from these unvented fires fills indoor spaces and causes pneumonia and chronic lung disease that particularly affects women and children who tend to spend more time in the home while men are outside working.
More research and programs to sell more efficient cookstoves to residents in remote or impoverished areas could help improve health and allow girls to get educated rather than spend time gathering fuel, said the research in the journal Science.
“Many people in developed countries don’t realize that smoke from indoor cooking fires is a terrible scourge upon the health of a large number of people,” said co-author Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health.