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Poor solid fuel combustion is second – biggest global health risk – Global Energy Assessment

New business models to spur greater household use of LP Gas seen as a solution.

After malnutrition, the largest toll on global health comes from poor combustion of solid fuels for cooking and heating, according to  the Global Energy Assessment published 16 January. The global health toll from dirty household air from burning coal, wood and dung  is on par with tobacco, alcohol, and high blood pressure, the report also showed. The GEA chapter on Energy and Human Health was recently revised to include the latest data from the Global Burden of Disease 2010  (GBD) Study, the most comprehensive dataset on global disease and disease risk factors,  the first series of which was published in December. The GBD 2010 estimates that for women, household air pollution (HAP) generated by cooking and heating from burning wood, dung, and coal on traditional stoves is the biggest risk factor after high blood pressure.

For men, HAP is the fourth-greatest risk factor after smoking, high blood pressure, and alcohol. In many countries in South Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa, HAP is the first or second greatest risk factor, and a much greater risk to health than dirty water and poor sanitation. In the chapter, the researchers  offered as one of the important solutions to reduce the disease burden from HAP to step up the search for more innovative business models to make LP Gas and natural gas more widely available. The Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future was first published last year, during the Rio+20 meeting. It is a compendium of the latest energy research, to  provide guidance to governments, analysts, the private sector, and intergovernmental organizations for more equitable distribution of energy services,  especially for the two billion people currently lacking access to clean and modern forms of energy. Access the Global Energy Assessment here.