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Working in kitchens can kill you

In brief

Nearly two million people die each year because of the use of dangerous appliances and fuels for cooking and heating at home. In Africa, Asia and South America, mothers and children suffer most from fuel fumes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that indoor pollution is the cause of twice as many deaths as malaria – and almost as many as caused by HIV/AIDS. Smoke is especially detrimental to children. A sig­nificant number of deaths, moreover, result from kerosene burns.

In most countries, mothers are the ones who collect firewood. In areas of conflict, they are exposed to great dangers. Furthermore, those who collect firewood spend roughly 20 hours a week doing so – time they could use for other activities, such as earning money or going to school. In November, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves stated in its first report that not enough countries are tackling this issue. (ph)