Cooking Clean – Saving Lives

We tend to take our modern gas and electric stoves and ovens for granted, but in many countries, homes have only kerosene or solid fuel cooking stoves, which can pollute household air. Each year, more than 4 million people die globally of complications from inhaling smoke from these stoves.

In a study on the risks, researchers found that clean ethanol-burning stoves are healthier than traditional units. They monitored 324 healthy pregnant Nigerian women. Half used ethanol-stoves, and half used wood or kerosene units. (Researchers encouraged the women to cook in ventilated areas.) In the traditional stove group, 6.4 per cent of the mothers-to-be developed high blood pressure, which is linked to heart disease and other conditions. Just 1.9 per cent of women in the clean-burning group developed it, according to the paper in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Several nations still rely heavily on pollution-producing cookstoves. Here are just a few of those countries with the following key:

COUNTRY – Population using solid fuels for cooking – People affected by indoor smoke – Yearly deaths from indoor smoke inhalation

GHANA – 84% – 21.3 million – 13,300

NIGERIA – 75% – 126 million – 70,000

KENYA – 84% – 36.3 million – 15,000

UGANDA – 97% – 35.3 million – 13,200

INDIA – 64% – 800 million – 1 million

BANGLADESH – 89% – 137.7 million – 78,000

CHINA – 45% – 607.8 million – Over 1 million

HAITI – 93% – 9.4 million – 9,593

NICARAGUA – 54% – 3.2 million – 2,373

GUATEMALA – 65% – 9.7 million – 5,100

BOSNIA & HERZOGOVINIA – 58% – 2.2 million – 4,775

GEORGIA – 46% – 2 million – 7,547

The World Health Organisation estimate that 1.2 million children die annually due to pollution caused by unsafe cooking methods. 4 million annual deaths are attributed to indoor air pollution caused by unsafe cooking methods.

Source: Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves / Discover Magazine, May 2017

To learn more about the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, please click here.