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Your Environment. Your Health.


Fanning the Flames of Research on Cookstoves and Health


As women in rural Guatemala perform the simple chore of cooking, their lungs, and those of their families fill with smoke and particulate matter. This scene is repeatedly daily in millions of homes around the world, where the poorest three billion people burn wood, dung and other biomass indoors and around their homes for cooking and heating. According to the recently released Global Burden of Disease report, nearly four million people around the world, mostly women and children, die every year as a result. Many more suffer illnesses and disabilities as a result of breathing pollutant-laced smoke.

What Does "Sustainable Development" Mean to You?

sustainable development word cloud
Participants in a webinar by the Institute of Medicine and NIEHS Global Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Innovation Collaborative were asked to answer this question in six words or less. The word cloud above illustrates their answers. The font weight of a word correlates to the number of times it was given in a response. The varying colors are just to enhance readability.

Science Spotlight

Kerosene: A Widely Used Fuel with Unknown Health Risks

Kero Pic 2

In developing countries, kerosene is often advocated as a clean alternative to solid fuels, like wood or coal, for use in cooking. Globally, an estimated 500 million people also commonly use kerosene as fuel for lamps. But new research is bringing the potential health risks of exposure to kerosene combustion products to light.

Other Research

  • Occurrence and exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their derivatives in a rural Chinese home through biomass fueled cooking. Ding J, Zhong J, Yang Y, Li B, Shen G, Su Y, Wang C, Li W, Shen H, Wang B, Wang R, Huang Y, Zhang Y, Cao H, Zhu Y, Simonich SL, Tao S. Environ Pollut. 2012 Oct;169:160-6. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.10.008.  Epub 2011 Dec 29.  PMID: 22209516 [Abstract] [Full Text(770KB)]
  • Partnering parasites: evidence of synergism between heavy Schistosoma haematobium and Plasmodium species infections in Kenyan children. Florey LS, King CH, Van Dyke MK, Muchiri EM, Mungai PL, Zimmerman PA, Wilson ML. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(7):e1723. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001723. Epub 2012 Jul 24. PMID: 22848765 [Abstract] [Full Text]
  • Characterization of fine particulate matter and associations between particulate chemical constituents and mortality in Seoul, Korea. Son JY, Lee JT, Kim KH, Jung K, Bell ML. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Jun;120(6):872-8. Epub 2012 Mar 22 [Abstract] [Full Text]
  • Implications of global climate change for the assessment and management of human health risks of chemicals in the natural environment.  Balbus JM, Boxall AB, Fenske RA, McKone TE, Zeise L. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2012 Nov 12. doi: 10.1002/etc.2046. PMID: 23147420 [Abstract] [Full Text]
  • Early-life prevention of non-communicable diseases. Balbus JM, Barouki R, Birnbaum LS, Etzel RA, Gluckman PD, Grandjean P, Hancock C, Hanson MA, Heindel JJ, Hoffman K, Jensen GK, Keeling A, Neira M, Rabadán-Diehl C, Ralston J, Tang KC. Lancet. 2013 Jan 5;381(9860):3-4 [Full Text]

Training & Capacity Building

In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the problem of contaminated air, water, and soil remain a major concern.

Focus on Fellows: Sascha Liberti: World-Class Training Brings Fellow from Denmark to North Carolina

Sascha Liberti
Dr. Sascha Liberti’s desire to work with the “king of DNA mismatch repair” led to her journey from Copenhagen to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina to work with Dr. Thomas Kunkel at NIEHS.

Funding Opportunities


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January 30-31, 2013
Washington, DC


Extreme Weather, Climate and Health: A Meeting of the NIH-CDC Climate and Health Grantees

Washington, DC
January 30-31, 2013

Climate Leadership Conference

Washington, DC
February 27- March 1, 2013

Consortium of Universities for Global Health Annual Meeting

NIEHS is sponsoring Plenary Session IX – Global Environmental Change & Health

Washington, DC
March 14-16, 2013

Clean Cooking Forum 2013: Igniting Change, Fueling Markets and Sparking Adoption

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
March 18-22, 2013