Washington, DC, 2 July 2012. Household smoke, especially smoke from open cooking fires, is a significant contributor to respiratory and other diseases, said Dr. Kirk R. Smith, Professor of Global Environmental Health at the University of California at Berkeley, in a presentation on “Household Air Pollution: An Update from Latin America,” at PAHO HQ. Household smoke is significantly related to pneumonia in children as well as most of the same diseases known to be related to tobacco products, including many cancers. Stoves with chimneys reduce, but do not eliminate, exposure to toxic substances, particularly carbon monoxide, that are produced by burning solid fuels such as wood. Better-designed cook stoves can further reduce indoor exposure; however, they leave unaddressed the problem of exposure to cooking smoke outdoors.
Dr. Smith is recognized globally for his work in household air pollution in developing nations, which is responsible for nearly two million premature deaths per year. He spoke at the invitation of PAHO’s Area of Sustainable Development and Environment Health, Environmental and Occupations Risks (SDE/ER), and the Area of Family Community and Health, Healthy Life Course (FCH/HL)
Presentation attached. Household Air Pollution: An Update from Latin America (5.08 MB)
Global Health Risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GlobalHealthRisks_report_full.pdf