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When the Home Fires Burn: The Neglected Epidemic of Lung Disease in Women and Children


Well over three billion people, half of those who dwell on earth, cook daily with biomass fuels, which include firewood, twigs and grass, crop residue, and animal dung. These energy sources are cheap and readily available in the mostly poor and rural regions where they are widely used. But they are inefficient and highly polluting, and the evidence of their destructive impact on human health is overwhelming. An estimated 1.96 million deaths occur every year, including 871,500 deaths from childhood pneumonia alone, as a result of exposure to biomass fuels.

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