Thursday, April 26, 2012 South Asia
Source: New York Times
Cooking the family meal can be a dangerous business for poor people in developing countries. According to a study by the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution from “primitive household cooking fires” is the leading environmental cause of death in the world. In most rural homes, which lack electricity, a stove can be an open fire and the fuel as basic as wood, dried animal dung or agricultural residue, together known as “biomass” fuels. The result is nearly 2 million deaths a year, worldwide, almost as many as are caused by malaria and tuberculosis combined. What’s worse, cooking with biomass releases carbon dioxide and “black carbon” into the atmosphere and consequently is a significant contributor to climate change.