Navigation Links
Bangladeshi women prefer pollution-causing cookstoves

New Haven, Conn.Women in rural Bangladesh prefer inexpensive, traditional stoves for cooking over modern ones despite significant health risks, according to a Yale study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A large majority of respondents94 percentbelieved that indoor smoke from the traditional stoves is harmful, but less so than polluted water (76 percent) and spoiled food (66 percent). Still, Bangladeshi women opted for traditional cookstove technology so they could afford basic needs.

"Nontraditional cookstoves might be more successful if they were designed with features valued more highly by users, such as reducing operating costs even if they might not reduce environmental impact," said Mushfiq Mobarak, a co-author and associate professor of economics at the Yale School of Management.

In most rural homes, where there is no electricity, food is cooked over an open fire using wood, agricultural residue and animal dung, known together as "biomass." The result is 50,000 deaths in Bangladesh a year and over 2 million worldwide. The release of black carbon is also a significant source of greenhouse gases.

Fully 98 percent of Bangladesh's 131 million people cook with biomass using traditional stoves despite years of efforts by governments and health organizations to promote models that are fuel-efficient and have chimneys. Moreover, 92 percent of 2,280 Bangladeshi households surveyed between July and September 2008 had never seen a nontraditional cookstove.

"The adoption and use of these nontraditional cookstoves in the developing world have, with few exceptions, remained disappointingly low," said Puneet Dwivedi, a co-author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

When given a hypothetical choice between a cash subsidy and a nontraditional cookstove, the respondents overwhelmingly chose to spend money on doctors, schools, electricity, clean water, latrines, seeds for planting and structures to protect their land from flooding.

"Household budgetary concerns appear to dominate any health concerns associated with smoke from nontraditional cookstoves," said Robert Bailis, associate professor of environmental social science at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

The researchers also conducted a randomized controlled trial in 42 villages in the Bangladeshi districts of Hatiya and Jamalpur to estimate how sensitive Bangladeshi households are to the price of nontraditional cookstoves.

They found that the demand for nontraditional cookstoves at both market and highly subsidized prices is very low and that demand is highly sensitive to price. At full price, the adoption rate for chimney cookstoves was 2 percent and for efficiency models 5 percent. In addition, a 50 percent discount resulted only in a 12 percent increase in the adoption of efficiency models and a 5 percent increase in the adoption of stoves with chimneys.

"We find consistent evidence across both analyses suggesting that women in rural Bangladesh do not perceive indoor air pollution as a significant health hazard," said Dwivedi.


Contact: David DeFusco
Yale University

Related biology news :

1. New study shines light on barriers to diabetes care in NYC Bangladeshi community
2. The academic jungle: Ecosystem model reveals why women are driven out of science
3. Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women
4. Eating disorder behaviors and weight concerns are common in women over 50
5. UCSB anthropologists finds high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in breast milk of Amerindian women
6. Considerable prevalence of both malaria, STIs exist among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa
7. Brain circuitry is different for women with anorexia and obesity
8. Womens scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued
9. Breast cancer in young women: A distinct disease
10. Vitamin D for pregnant women and babies -- how much is enough?
11. Women & Infants participating in study of treatment of common viral infection in pregnancy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:9/10/2015)... , Sept. 10, 2015 Pursuant Health ... Wellness to create an interactive, image-based health risk ... and wellness kiosk.  The unique assessment quantifies user ... number that suggests an individual,s biological age based ... as measured by the kiosk. Comprised ...
(Date:9/9/2015)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , Sept. 9, 2015 ... achieved numerous organizational and solution-based milestones, furthering the ... the perils of online fraud. NuData ... key in enhancing the company,s growth cycle. The ... machine learning to determine good user behavior from ...
(Date:9/8/2015)...  Affectiva, global leader in emotion-sensing and analytics, ... new data solution, and version 2.0 of its ... accurate and patented science, these new offerings provide ... industries such as market research, gaming, media and ... education, HR, automotive, robotics, healthcare and wearables. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... LifeTrak , a leader ... LifeTrak Zoom, the world’s first amphibious fitness tracker that seeks to meet the needs ... and accurate heart rate monitoring both in water and on land, making ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... Oct. 9, 2015 On October 8, the ... Record her statement recognizing the third annual International Plasma ... is sponsored by the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association ... to:   , Raise global awareness about plasma ... in saving and improving lives , Increase understanding ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , Oct. 9, 2015  Pulmatrix, Inc., ... presentation at two upcoming investor conferences. th ... at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). --> ... 20, 2015 at 11:00 am PDT (2:00 pm EDT). ... James 2015 Small Cap Growth Stock Conference on Thursday, October ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... Fla. , Oct. 8, 2015   Intrexon ... synthetic biology, today announced the appointment of Joseph ... Environment Sector, succeeding Nir Nimrodi who continues ... Vaillancourt will direct Intrexon,s endeavors to generate sustainable, biologically ... America , where he held a variety of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: