Almost 2 million deaths a year are caused by the use of indoor cook stoves worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. That's more deaths per year than malaria. Burning wood, dung or coal in cook stoves emits substantial amounts of black carbon.
A five-year cook stove research initiative by EPA will work to find efficient solutions to reduce exposures to black carbon and thus the resulting health effects. This research will include tests on different stove types and fuels to find better alternatives and guide future stove developments. It will also help inform international efforts to reduce black carbon emissions and human exposures.
Health effects and exposure from cook stoves will be studied through clinical, cell and animal studies. Such tests will be used to further define black carbon's role in disease and to improve risk assessments.
Research findings and technical support will be provided to other EPA offices, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) (PDF, 2 pp, 249K, About PDF) and other partners to set global standards for cleaner stoves and fuels and improve current stove designs while taking socio-economic costs into account for those affected.