Household energy and health: where next for research and practice?

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Abstract

www.thelancet.com Published online December 6, 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32506-5 1 Household energy and health: where next for research and practice? Cooking and home heating with coal and biomass fuels (wood, crop residues, animal dung, and charcoal) are ideal subjects for well intentioned epidemiology. Cooking and heating with such fuels generate large amounts of pollutants that can harm people's health throughout the lifecourse, a risk that largely aff ects poor communities. In a simple world, epidemiology would investigate the hazardous eff ects and test the benefi ts of any interventions, and rational individuals and policy bodies would use this information to initiate positive change. The world, however, is not simple when we study something as central to daily life as household energy. In the 1970s, an Australian respiratory epidemiologist studying adult lung disease in Papua New Guinea documented the positive association between domestic woodsmoke and children's respiratory infections.

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Ezzati, M., & Baumgartner, J. C. (2017, January 14). Household energy and health: where next for research and practice? The Lancet. Lancet Publishing Group. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32506-5

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