New cookstoves do not significantly reduce risk of pneumonia

Ceramic indoor cookstoves, designed to produce less smoke than traditionally used firepits in developing countries, do not significantly reduce indoor air pollution or the risk of pneumonia, according to new findings.
Cleaner burning cookstoves are thought to be one way to reduce harmful household air pollution caused by traditional firepits, often used in developing countries.

The research, published this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, is the first to examine the health impacts of ceramic cookstoves.  Researchers followed the health of children under 3 years of age in 20 villages in Kenya. They examined respiratory symptoms of children in homes using ceramic indoor cookstoves, and those using traditional firepits.

The study found that even though there were fewer respiratory symptoms, these stoves only reduced air pollution by 13% 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.

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the World Health Organization (WHO) are currently evaluating six other cookstove technologies in a separate study, to find out which designs produce the least pollution.

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