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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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Clean Cookstoves for Healthier Lives: Progress on a Complex Issue

Woman cooking

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.

Full Article (193KB)

GEH Chat

GEH Podcasts

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.

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Science Spotlight

Using the Intersection of Statistics and Biology to Understand Flu Outbreaks

A statistical method to understand and predict influenza patterns

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.

Full Article (98KB)

Training & Capacity Building

Voices from the Field

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.

Full Article (362KB)

Other Research

GEH Extras

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 and Children's Health Policy Roundup

Funding Opportunities


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August 30-September 3

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November 30-December 11