New Study Estimates 4 Million Deaths from HAP Each Year
The entire clean cooking sector learned a shocking fact last week: household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels kills 4 million people annually – double the previously known estimate.
That was the news from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 published in The Lancet Thursday, December 13. The study finds that as a result of burning solid fuel for cooking, 3.5 million deaths are directly associated with household air pollution (HAP) each year. In addition, another 500,000 deaths from outdoor air pollution are caused by cooking, with a large share of outdoor pollution in regions like Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa originating from household solid fuel use.
An expert panel discussed the study’s HAP findings and the work of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Monday, December 17.
Millions more are sickened from lung cancer and disease, child lower respiratory infections, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts associated with household air pollution (HAP). The results demonstrate the continued impact of HAP on child survival and life-expectancy, and underscore the link between HAP and noncommunicable diseases.
The HAP findings add increased urgency to the Alliance’s mission to save and improve lives through the creation of a market for clean, safe, and efficient household cooking solutions. As Dr. Kirk R. Smith, professor of global environmental health at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of The Lancet article, told the Alliance, “One of the most alarming findings is that smoke from cooking fires was found to be the largest environmental threat to health in the world today.”
The burden of disease from dozens of leading public health risk factors, including high blood pressure, tobacco, alcohol use, and nutritional factors, were also updated in the study. The ‘Global Burden of Disease 2010’ study represents the work of 486 co-authors from 50 countries, an effort led by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
For a detailed breakdown of the HAP data and the Alliance’s response to the study, please click here.