DEERFIELD, Il. (December 11, 2012)Inexpensive, locally-produced ceramic cookstoves may produce less smoke than traditional indoor 3-stone firepits, but they don't significantly reduce indoor air pollution or the risk of pneumonia in young children, according to results from a small, year-long observational study by researchers working in rural Kenya.
The findings, published online today in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, are the first to examine the health impacts of ceramic cookstoves that do not vent smoke to the outside of the house, said Robert Quick, MD, MPH, a researcher in the Division of Waterborne, Foodborne, and Enteric Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Women who used the ceramic stoves (called "upesi jiko," which is Swahili for "quick stove") reported less smoke in their homes, along with fewer stinging eyes and runny noses. However, the study found that even though there were fewer respiratory symptoms, these stoves only reduced air pollution by 13 percent and there was no significant difference in pneumonia among children under 3 years of age in these homes when compared to those in homes with 3-stone firepits.
Women and their young children bear the brunt of health problems caused by cooking indoors, in inadequately vented spaces, over open fires fueled by unprocessed wood, charcoal or other biomass.
"Despite requiring less fuel, these stoves may not be efficient enough," Quick said. "The belief is that you need much more efficiency, maybe a reduction of 50 percent or more, to really observe the health benefits," he added.
Pneumonia is the leading cause of death for children under 5 years of age in developing countries, with nearly 70 percent of these 1.2 million deaths occurring in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Research has found household air pollution can increase the risk of pneumoniaa 2008 study found that exposure to this typ
|Contact: Preeti Singh