Sunday, 23 January 2011

Home fires: the world's most lethal pollution

The Independent has an interesting article on a source of environmental pollution often overlooked, but with profound effects. The UN plans to do something about it:
The world's deadliest pollution does not come from factories billowing smoke, industries tainting water supplies or chemicals seeping into farm land. It comes from within people's own homes. Smoke from domestic fires kills nearly two million people each year and sickens millions more, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A new UN project has now been set up to try to reduce this appalling toll. It aims, over the next nine years, to put 100 million clean cooking stoves into homes in the developing world.

The WHO ranks the problem as one of the worst health risks facing the poor. In low-income countries, such as those in Africa and Asia, indoor smoke from cooking has become the sixth biggest killer. Globally, it kills more people than malaria, and nearly as many as Aids – and far more insidiously than either.
Read the whole article—it conveniently provides an example that crosses a number of our sub-topics (perfect synopticity!—look at the labels below that I have applied to it...)
A Bhutan family gathers for a meal around their improperly ventilated home fire, fueled by yak dung and wood.

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