Household air pollution led to 2.6 million premature deaths in 2016, with women and children facing highest risk of exposure. A new brief developed by USAID with support from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves brings together research results that link reductions in household air pollution (HAP) with positive health impacts.  The “Clean Cooking to Protect Maternal and Child Health Evidence Brief,” released at the Clean Cooking Forum 2017 in New Delhi in October, summarizes key findings of HAP studies on maternal and child health, presenting data visually for a non-scientific audience while providing evidence-based conclusions and targeting policymakers and implementers to promote HAP interventions.

Clean cooking interventions present mixed evidence of health impacts, and the brief synthesizes evidence to present to policymakers. As the evidence base for health continues to develop, USAID will work with communities to reduce household air pollution in ways that will both impact health and be adopted by households.

There are four main takeaways from the brief:

  1. Burning biomass, coal, and kerosene in traditional and unvented stoves result in adverse birth, respiratory, and cardiovascular outcomes.
  2. Switching to clean fuels or low-polluting improved stoves can protect maternal and child health, such as low birthweight, respiratory infections, and blood pressure.
  3. Moving toward effective implementation requires successful clean cooking interventions and reducing other sources of air pollution.
  4. Policies to reduce HAP incentivize clean cooking through subsidies and campaigns, in tandem with bans or removing subsidies for polluting fuels.

Click here to read the brief.

Click here to read an interview with one of the researchers behind the brief.