WIT Press


Air Quality, Respiratory Health And Wood Use For Women Converting From Low- To High-efficiency Stoves In Rural Kenya

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/AIR150171

Volume

198

Pages

12

Page Range

205 - 216

Published

2015

Size

358 kb

Author(s)

K. Critchley, K. Teather, H. Hughes, A. MacDonald, M. Gibson

Abstract

Over 90% of women in rural Kenya rely on biomass to meet their cooking and heating needs and most of these women use the traditional three-stone cookstove. In the fall of 2011, Farmers Helping Farmers, a non-government organization from Prince Edward Island, installed more efficient cookstoves for a group of women in the Kiirua region, about four hours north of Nairobi. We assessed air quality, wood use, and the respiratory health of women before (summer, 2011) and after (summer 2013) the new stoves were installed. Although we found no difference in the concentrations of volatile organic compounds before and after the installation of stoves, women used less fuel and spent less time exposed to poor quality air. We documented significant improvements in the respiratory health of women after new stoves were installed, both in self-reported illnesses over the previous six months and through spirometry tests.

Keywords

particulate matter, cookstoves, respiratory health, firewood, air quality, biomass fuel