Cooking is a daily ritual in households around the world. For three billion people, that ritual can also endanger their health because they burn solid fuels, such as wood, charcoal, crop residue, animal dung, or coal to cook meals in poorly ventilated settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently revised its estimated annual mortality associated with household air pollution (HAP) from 1.9 to 4.3 million deaths. This upward revision, based largely on growing recognition of the cardiovascular impacts of particulate matter air pollution, has helped raise the issue of cookstoves and their associated health burden to a high level of priority in international development and global health policy discussions.
NIEHS has funded decades of research related to cookstoves, which has greatly contributed to our understanding of the health effects of household air pollution from cookstoves. Recent research on the health effects of cookstoves highlights the need to incorporate cooking technology interventions and a greater emphasis on behavioral considerations to ensure adoption of new technologies in economic development programs around the world.
A Global Network to Advance Children’s Health (2-part series)
Children around the world face serious health consequences from harmful environmental exposures. The Children’s Environmental Health Collaborating Centres Network is a global collaboration among research institutions with a focus on reducing this important health burden. NIEHS is involved in this network as part of the Institute’s role as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. In this podcast series, we explore how the network helps to advance research and interventions to improve children’s health around the world.
A new method of data assimilation and surveillance has been developed by a research team at Columbia University to improve what we know about the dynamics of influenza transmission and to monitor the factors that can determine the intensity of a flu season. This novel approach, funded in part by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), estimates epidemiological parameters that describe specific characteristics of influenza outbreaks. Using this methodology, public health officials can gauge the magnitude of an influenza threat and devise effective prevention and control measures.
Training & Capacity Building
We are pleased to introduce a new section to the GEH newsletter titled Voices from the Field. The articles in this category will feature stories written by public health researchers about the lessons learned while conducting field work in low- and middle-income countries. Through these stories, it is our intention to increase awareness and understanding of both the challenges and the rewards experienced by scientists who are engaging communities and collecting data in the field. We hope that these stories will help inform the global community and promote the development of best practices in global community-based environmental health research.
This month, Ashlinn Quinn, a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University in New York City, New York, interviewed Mohammed Mujtaba, Research Officer at the Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC), Ghana Health Service, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana, at KHRC on May 7, 2015.
Columbia University and KHRC are collaborators on the Ghana Randomized Air Pollution and Health Study (GRAPHS), a community-level randomized controlled trial of cookstove interventions for pregnant women and their newborns in rural Ghana.
- Indoor Particulate Matter in Rural, Wood Stove Heated Homes
- Metal Contamination of Home Garden Soils and Cultivated Vegetables in the Province of Brescia, Italy: Implications for Human Exposure
- A Prospective Study of Growth and Biomarkers of Exposure to Aflatoxin and Fumonisin during Early Childhood in Tanzania
The Presidential Task Force on Environmental Health and Safety Risks to Children is gathering examples of policy actions and programs designed to protect children’s health against the impacts of climate change, which will be highlighted during national Children’s Health Month in October. Any member of the public is welcome to submit. Compelling stories will be featured on the Task Force website, highlighted at an event during Children’s Health Month, and disseminated across the community of practice to raise awareness, share what’s working, and encourage others to adopt similar policies.
- Climate Change, Cash Transfers and Health
A new publication featured in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization explores the potential for cash transfers to be used as proactive measures to improve health in the context of climate change. Authors explore cash transfer models used previously and explain how health and climate mitigation can be encouraged.
- The State of the Global Clean and Improved Cooking Sector
A new report from the Work Bank Group, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program explores current cooking solutions and technologies. The report aims to establish a common fact base for sector analysis; build a case for increased sector focus and investment; and inform intervention strategies.
- Health and the Environment: Addressing the Health Impact of Air Pollution (World Health Assembly Resolution)
At the recent World Health Assembly, WHO Member States adopted a resolution on the health impacts of air pollution. This resolution calls for increased efforts to prevent and address air pollution, including indoor air pollution. It also urges additional multi-sector cooperation, the development of monitoring systems and emphasizes the importance of clean cooking.
- Sustainable Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in Latin America
A new report from the United Nations and affiliate organizations provides guidance on the handling of electronic waste specific to Latin America. The original report is in Spanish.
Presentation in English
- Introduction to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s): A Guide for Public Interest Organizations and Policy Makers
A new guide from the Endocrine Society and IPEN highlights the current understanding of endocrine disruptors, methods for assessment and important points for policy makers.
Sao Paolo, Brazil
August 30-September 3
New York, New York
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
October 31-November 4
21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
November 30-December 11