Exposure to household air pollution is the most important environmental risk factor for ill health in developing countries and is responsible for four million premature deaths per year. Breathing the smoke from low quality fuels and incomplete combustion is associated with increased rates of pneumonia, lung cancer, tuberculosis, cataracts, cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases. Although directly measuring the health benefits of household energy interventions can be relatively complicated and expensive, assessing changes in kitchen concentrations or personal exposure to key pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) can provide a strong indication of whether a program is having a positive impact on health. Berkeley Air Monitoring Group is a leader in field monitoring of household air pollution and personal exposure.

Health-relevant indicators that we can measure in the field include:

  • Household air pollution
  • Personal exposure
  • Stove emissions of health-damaging pollutants
  • Self-reported health impacts and symptoms

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You can find more information about the health burden of household air pollution at The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.