Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Nobody is Using Cookstoves !!

From the Atlantic Wire

Nobody's using those cookstoves that are supposed to save humanity. If a great idea falls into the laps of millions of households and nobody uses it, it doesn't count as a great idea, which is exactly what's happening with the cookstove movement. When studies found that indoor air pollution from primitive stoves was a leading cause of death in the world, the developed world reacted with clean cookstoves. What was supposed to be a simple, cheap, easy way to save lives, however, isn't working, as a new study has found nobody's using the things. Many aren't accepting the new stove into their homes and the ones that have are still using the old problem stoves. "This isn’t to say that indoor air pollution is not a problem, or that an improved cooking stove cannot be part of the solution. But rather, we just don’t have enough evidence that the stoves systematically improve health, particularly under real world conditions where people do not regularly use the stoves, and if they do, the use often does not perfectly follow the manufacturer’s instructions," explains researcher Rema Hanna. This type of thing tends to happen when science meets reality, though, as we learned from This American Life, which found a similar problem with mango farmers. [New York Times]

Pollution's making us fat. Environmental problems meet health problems in this latest finding, which links pollution to childhood obesity. Children of women exposed to high levels of chemicals called PAHs during pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to be obese at age 5, and more than twice as likely to be obese at age 7. "Not only was their body mass higher, but it was higher due to body fat rather than bone or muscle mass," explains researcher Andrew G. Rundle. The findings help explain why inner city obesity is more prevalent than overall obesity. [Columbia University]

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