Where there's smoke, there's disease? They're little more than a pile of burning sticks with a stew pot atop them, but these open fires or basic cook stoves have been linked to the premature deaths of 4 million people annually, many of them young children, writes Cheryl Dybas, of the National Science Foundation.
Three billion people around the world rely on wood, charcoal, agricultural waste, animal dung, and coal for household cooking needs. They often burn these fuels inside their homes in poorly ventilated stoves or in open fires.
The resulting miasma exposes families to air pollution levels as much as 50 times greater than World Health Organisation guidelines for clean air, setting the stage for heart and lung disease.
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