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Safer Cookstoves

December 17, 2013

Cleaner cookstoves could save millions of lives and slow global warming.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Making cookstoves safer…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Cooking on open fires can cause health problems and damage the environment. (gringologue/Flickr)

Nearly half of the world’s population relies on poorly-ventilated cookstoves to prepare food. They are also highly inefficient, contributing to global warming as well as a significant loss of life.

ANDREW GRIESHOP (North Carolina State University):

There’s a range of both chronic and acute health effects that are associated with exposure to these indoor pollutants, like childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cancer, bronchitis, and cardiovascular disease.

HIRSHON:

That’s environmental engineer Andrew Grieshop of North Carolina State University. He says much safer gas and electric alternatives are being developed, but getting them to the people who need them most poses a challenge because they often don’t have the means to pay for them. Still, there’s reason to be hopeful.

GRIESHOP:

There is potential to use carbon offsets to fund these programs. And that has a net benefit effect on the climate, and this huge health benefit.

HIRSHON:

To learn more, visit cleancookstoves.org. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.