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Indoor air quality impacts of an improved wood stove in Ghana and an ethanol stove in Ethiopia

June 30, 2009 Leave a comment

David Pennise, Simone Brant, Seth Mahu Agbeve, Wilhemina Quaye, Firehiwot Mengesha, Wubshet Tadele, Todd Wofchuck,

Indoor air quality impacts of an improved wood stove in Ghana and an ethanol stove in Ethiopia, IN: Energy for Sustainable Development, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 24 May 2009, ISSN 0973-0826, DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2009.04.003.

This study was undertaken to assess the potential of two types of improved cookstoves to reduce indoor air pollution in African homes. An ethanol stove, the CleanCook, was tested in three locations in Ethiopia: the city of Addis Ababa and the Bonga and Kebribeyah Refugee Camps, while a wood-burning rocket stove, the Gyapa, was evaluated in Accra, Ghana.

In both countries, kitchen concentrations of PM2.5 and CO, the two pollutants responsible for the bulk of the ill-health associated with indoor smoke, were monitored in a before and after study design without controls. Baseline (`before’) measurements were made in households using a traditional stove or open fire. `After’ measurements were performed in the same households, once the improved stove had been introduced. PM2.5 was measured using UCB Particle Monitors, which have photoelectric detectors. CO was measured with Onset HOBO Loggers. In Ghana and Kebribeyah Camp, CO was also measured with Gastec diffusion tubes.

In Ghana, average 24-hour PM2.5 concentrations decreased 52% from 650 [mu]g/m3 in the ‘before’ phase to 320 [mu]g/m3 in the ‘after’ phase (p = 0.00), and average 24-hour kitchen CO concentrations decreased 40% from 12.3 ppm to 7.4 ppm (p = 0.01). Including all three subgroups in Ethiopia, average PM2.5 concentrations decreased 84% from 1 250 [mu]g/m3 to 200 [mu]g/m3 (p = 0.00) and average CO concentrations decreased 76% from 38.9 ppm to 9.2 ppm (p = 0.00). 24-hour average CO levels in households using both the Gyapa and CleanCook stoves met, or nearly met, the World Health Organization (WHO) 8-hour Air Quality Guideline. PM2.5 concentrations were well above both the WHO 24-hour Guideline and Interim Targets.

Therefore, despite the significant improvements associated with both of these stoves, further changes in stove or fuel type or household fuel mixing patterns would be required to bring PM to levels that are not considered harmful to health.

Mexico – Smog chops 2 months off Mexicans’ lives

October 28, 2008 Leave a comment

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexicans would live an average of two months longer if they breathed cleaner air, Harvard researchers conclude in a study published Monday. The study found that some 7,600 people’s lives were cut short each year by diseases related to air pollution between 2001-2005, representing about 1.6 percent of annual deaths in Mexico.

The highest proportion of those deaths — 38 percent — were in Mexico City, a mountain-ringed valley long known for its dense layer of smog.

Mexico’s average life expectancy — 72.3 years for men and 77.8 for women — would be longer by 2.4 months if urban air quality were improved, according to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers — Gretchen Stevens, Rodrigo Dias and Majid Ezzati of the Harvard Initiative for Global Health — used death records and air quality monitoring data to estimate the number of people who died from lung cancer, cardiopulmonary diseases, respiratory infections and other illnesses as a result of breathing heavily polluted air. Then they estimated what Mexico’s average life expectancy rate would be if those people had not died early.

The researchers also studied the effect on mortality rates from the use of solid fuels, like coal and wood burning, and from unsafe water sanitation in Mexican homes.

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