Nicaragua: Indoor Air Pollution and Exposure from Ecofogon

Berkeley Air researchers conducted a study in Ciudadela de San Martin, Nicaragua, to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of two models of the EcoStove (or Ecofogon) — one fully open and one semi-closed — in reducing indoor air pollution (IAP). Using a randomized stove intervention trial, we evaluated the influence of stove type on kitchen air pollution levels and women’s exposures to fine particulate matter.

Adjusting for the effects of study group, duration of cooking, burning trash, and average daily temperature, introduction of the closed EcoStove was associated with an 86% reduction in PM2.5 exposure, while the introduction of the semi-open model was associated with an 80% reduction (the difference was not significant). The two EcoStove models did have significantly different effects on kitchen levels of PM2.5 (p-value = 0.028), with the closed EcoStove reducing kitchen PM2.5 levels by 94% and the semi-open EcoStove reducing kitchen PM2.5 levels by 87%.

The magnitude of the exposure reductions for both EcoStove models is expected to have great health benefits for Nicaraguan families.