How harmful is household air pollution?
There are many countries in the world, mostly in Africa and Asia that mainly use wood or coal or charcoal for cooking, heat and light their homes – about a third of the world’s population.
These fuels are very dirty smoked and the result of their combustion is a high level of indoor air pollution. It has been reported that in some regions, household air pollution is so high that it actually contributes to an increase in outdoor air pollution.
Due to excessive levels of indoor air pollution, approximately 600-800 million families in the world are at increased risk for diseases including respiratory infections, pneumonia, COPD, asthma and lung cancer.
Researchers at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine UK concluded that household air pollution killed about 4 million people in 2010. Researchers also reported that there are about 3 billion people currently exposed to excessive levels of Indoor air pollution.
Many Third World countries have failed in their efforts to combat indoor air pollution and public awareness of cooking hazards with wood and charcoal in poorly ventilated homes is still very low.
Scientists and health workers in countries where household air pollution continues to burden lourdment should work with governments and international health agencies to raise awareness on this issue in order to have chances of success.