New report on Household Air Pollution and Noncommunicable Disease

HEI has published a new report on Household Air Pollution and Noncommunicable Disease, which provides a critical assessment of the state of the science examining the linkages between household air pollution formed by the burning of solid fuels and noncommunicable diseases. The report updates previous systematic reviews with the most recent studies and answers fundamental questions on the scientific basis for estimating health burden and what the evidence suggests about the exposure reductions necessary to achieve improved health outcomes. A Summary for Policy Makers is also available.

Key conclusions from the report:

  • Widespread use of solid fuel stoves by approximately one third of the world’s population imposes a heavy burden on global public health. The most recent estimate from the IHME GBD study estimates that in 2016, the number of deaths attributable to HAP was 2.6 million worldwide, making it the 8th leading risk factor globally, and with ambient air pollution, the leading environmental risk factor.
  • Overall, the new evidence reviewed in this report is broadly consistent with previous conclusions that HAP is strongly associated with numerous diseases.
  • Though data gaps and challenges in intervention effectiveness remain, epidemiological evidence indicates that reducing HAP exposures should be an effective way to improve public health worldwide.
  • Accelerating transitions to modern fuels and electricity that are most likely to achieve the necessary exposure reductions would be an ideal path forward.
  • Strategic efforts are now needed to change, and perhaps transform, energy systems to deliver high quality energy services to low-income households, not only for cooking, but also for heating and lighting.

Note: Taken from HEI’s website