Indoor pollution caused by cooking on open fire has a huge negative impact on health. World Health Organisation (WHO) recently updated their fact sheet about „Household air pollution and health“ in March 2014. With reference to this fact sheet it boils down to the key facts that…
– around 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal.
– over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.
– more than 50% of premature deaths among children under 5 are due to pneumonia caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.
– 3,8 million premature deaths annually from noncommunicable diseases including stroke, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are attributed to exposure to household air pollution.
The impacts on health using open fires for cooking and heating their homes is terrifying!
4,3 million people a year die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution caused by the inefficient use of solid fuels (WHO data from 2012). Among these deaths:
12% are due to pneumonia
34% from stroke
26% from ischaemic heart disease
22% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and
6% from lung cancer.
Find some more detailed information „Household air pollution and health“ on World Health Organisation’s website.
We experienced the pain caused by the smoke ourselves each time we entered a house where the traditional open fire was burning. You can barely breathe and your eyes start tearing, especially if you’re not used to the smoke. The walls and roofs of this houses are covered thick with black soot and so are probably the lungs of the people.
The Chulha stove is solving this huge health problem by evacuating the smoke outside the house through a chimney. The experience when cooking with the Chulha is totally different. Before the Chulha, we Europeans were very uncomfortable and heading out through the door to get some fresh air whenever we could. Later, when the Chulha was in use, we were relaxed, sitting around the stove and cooking meals with the villagers. If somebody builds a new house you can see it even on the walls and the roof. After some years of cooking on the Chulha, the walls and the roof still look like new.
To learn more from the experience of the locals with the Chulha, please visit our page with video interviews. See Dr. Thongbay Syhalat speaking about health problems caused by the smoke and Mayja sharing her experience cooking with the Chulha!