Around 50% of people, almost all in developing countries, rely on coal and biomass in the form of wood, dung and crop residues for domestic energy. These materials are typically burnt in simple stoves with very incomplete combustion. Consequently, women and young children are exposed to high levels of indoor air pollution every day.
Pollution and Health
A critical review was conducted of the quantitative literature linking indoor air pollution from household use of biomass fuels with acute respiratory infections in young children, which is focused on, but not confined to, acute lower respiratory infection and pneumonia in children under two years in less developed countries. Biomass in the form of wood, crop residues, and animal dung is used in more than two fifths of the world’s households as the principal fuel.
In this review, the driving forces behind the formation and growth of megacities and their consequences are described. The nature of megacities, their air quality problems, and the associated science are briefly addressed. Impacts of emissions and the ambient concentration of pollutants in megacities on the health of their populations, visibility (urban and regional haze), ecosystems (including acid and fixed nitrogen deposition, photochemical oxidant damage, and photosynthetically active radiation), climate change, and global pollutant transport are evaluated in the review.
In the last decade, a number of quantitative epidemiological studies of specific diseases have been done in developing countries that for the first time allow estimation of the total burden of disease (mortality and morbidity) attributable to use of solid fuels in adult women and young children, who jointly receive the highest exposures because of their household roles. Few such studies are available as yet for adult men or children over 5 years.
There are many ways to improve the environmental performance of an organization. One option is to work in partnership with other stakeholders. Often, this requires more time and greater initial investment than independent activities, but the solutions achieved are often more sustainable. This article highlights the "Cows to Kilowatts" initiative in Nigeria, a partnership project to reduce the water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions of a slaughterhouse.