Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollution


One of the most pressing issues in development in the Third World is how to bring modern energy services to the 2 billion people who have little access to electricity and who depend for cooking and heating on local biomass in the form of wood, crop residues, and dung. Such fuels are often damaging to the local environment, inefficient, and harmful to people's health. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.6 million people die each year from the use of biomass fuels and coal in poor households. We spoke with Professor Kirk R. Smith of the University of California, Berkeley about his seminal work documenting the scope and nature of this major public health challenge.

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