Preventing the adverse health impacts of Household Air Pollution


Background

Household air pollution (HAP) is a major health risk for people living in the world’s poorest communities, resulting in an estimated four million premature deaths every year and making up 4.3% of the Global Burden of Disease in 2010.

Research provided key evidence for quantifying the global burden of HAP.

Aim

The Household Energy, Air Pollution and Health project aimed to provide key evidence for quantifying the global burden of HAP. It also reviewed the efficacy of several important preventive strategies and tools, and investigated the impact of pollution-reducing technologies on maternal and child health.

The group are actively investigating approaches to maximising adoption and sustained use of clean fuels at scale in low and middle income countries.

Impact

This project has directly contributed to international initiatives and policies that will improve the lives and health of almost three billion people. The research group led in the development of the latest WHO Air Quality Guidelines that highlighted the need to switch from traditional solid fuels to clean fuels to achieve sufficient reductions in HAP to reduce the global burden of associated disease.

The research was identified as “one of the top 20 most impressive examples of UK research contributing to global development” by the UK-Collaborative on Development Sciences (UK-CDS). UK-CDS selected the research from nearly 7,000 submissions as one of the best examples of how UK research is improving the lives of people around the world.

Read more about the Energy, Air Pollution and Health Research Group

Comment

Dr Daniel Pope, project lead and senior lecturer in epidemiology, said: Our research groups ambition is to reduce the adverse health and health inequalities impact of household air pollution- a major determinant of the Global Burden of Disease and a leading cause of noncommunicable disease, child mortality and impaired maternal health, in lower-and-middle income countries (LMICs). Our 2014 REF Impact Case Study summarised our research that had (i) defined the disease burden of household air pollution, (ii) investigated strategies and interventions to reduce household air pollution from domestic use of solid fuels assessing the impacts on maternal and child health and (iii) developed WHO indoor air quality guidelines to address the global burden of disease through scaled adoption of cleaner cooking practices in LMICs (read more on that here

This impact case study was independently assessed by the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences (UK-CDS) as “one of the top 20 most impressive examples of UK research contributing to global development.” Our current research builds on this work investigating approaches for sustained, evidenced based and equitable transition to clean energy whilst demonstrating the health, health inequalities and environmental impacts of this transition. Our LPG Adoption in Cameroon Evaluation Projects (LACE-1 and -2) are investigating barriers and enablers to adoption and sustained use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) as a clean fuel and practical solution to the burden of reliance on solid fuel in Cameroon.

The research is also investigating interventions to support communities transition to LPG from wood fuel including community managed micro-finance initiatives to assist poorer households adopt LPG. All our work is being conducted in the context of the Cameroon Government’s ambition to expand use of LPG in the country from 12% to 58% by 2030 to address issues of energy sustainability and deforestation in Cameroon.