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Johnson M.A.,Berkeley Air Monitoring Group Inc. | Chiang R.A.,Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2015

Background: Displacing the use of polluting and inefficient cookstoves in developing countries is necessary to achieve the potential health and environmental benefits sought through clean cooking solutions. Yet little quantitative context has been provided on how much displacement of traditional technologies is needed to achieve targets for household air pollutant concentrations or fuel savings. Objectives: This paper provides instructive guidance on the usage of cooking technologies required to achieve health and environmental improvements. Methods: We evaluated different scenarios of displacement of traditional stoves with use of higher performing technologies. The air quality and fuel consumption impacts were estimated for these scenarios using a single-zone box model of indoor air quality and ratios of thermal efficiency. Results: Stove performance and usage should be considered together, as lower performing stoves can result in similar or greater benefits than a higher performing stove if the lower performing stove has considerably higher displacement of the baseline stove. Based on the indoor air quality model, there are multiple performance–usage scenarios for achieving modest indoor air quality improvements. To meet World Health Organization guidance levels, however, three-stone fire and basic charcoal stove usage must be nearly eliminated to achieve the particulate matter target (< 1–3 hr/week), and substantially limited to meet the carbon monoxide guideline (< 7–9 hr/week). Conclusions: Moderate health gains may be achieved with various performance–usage scenarios. The greatest benefits are estimated to be achieved by near-complete displacement of traditional stoves with clean technologies, emphasizing the need to shift in the long term to near exclusive use of clean fuels and stoves. The performance–usage scenarios are also provided as a tool to guide technology selection and prioritize behavior change opportunities to maximize impact. © 2015, Public Health Services, US Dept of Health and Human Services. All rights reserved. Source

Summers S.K.,George Washington University | Rainey R.,United States Agency for International Development USAID | Kaur M.,Berkeley Air Monitoring Group Inc. | Graham J.P.,George Washington University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background: Carbon credits are an increasingly prevalent market-based mechanism used to subsidize household water treatment technologies (HWT). This involves generating credits through the reduction of carbon emissions from boiling water by providing a technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. Proponents claim this process delivers health and environmental benefits by providing clean drinking water and reducing greenhouse gases. Selling carbon credits associated with HWT projects requires rigorous monitoring to ensure households are using the HWT and achieving the desired benefits of the device. Critics have suggested that the technologies provide neither the benefits of clean water nor reduced emissions. This study explores the perspectives of carbon credit and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts on HWT carbon credit projects. Methods: Thirteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with key informants from the WASH and carbon credit development sectors. The interviews explored perceptions of the two groups with respect to the procedures applied in the Gold Standard methodology for trading Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) credits. Results: Agreement among the WASH and carbon credit experts existed for the concept of suppressed demand and parameters in the baseline water boiling test. Key differences, however, existed. WASH experts' responses highlighted a focus on objectively verifiable data for monitoring carbon projects while carbon credit experts called for contextualizing observed data with the need for flexibility and balancing financial viability with quality assurance. Conclusions: Carbon credit projects have the potential to become an important financing mechanism for clean energy in low- and middle-income countries. Based on this research we recommend that more effort be placed on building consensus on the underlying assumptions for obtaining carbon credits from HWT projects, as well as the approved methods for monitoring correct and consistent use of the HWT technologies in order to support public health impacts. Source

Northcross A.L.,University of California at Berkeley | Edwards R.J.,University of California at Irvine | Johnson M.A.,Berkeley Air Monitoring Group Inc. | Wang Z.-M.,Environmental Health Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts | Year: 2013

Exposure to particles with aerodynamic diameters less than 2.5 μm is estimated to cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide leading many countries to develop ambient air pollution standards and guidelines. At local scales, community and environmental justice groups are also concerned about PM2.5 concentrations that may be elevated above regional concentrations typically measured by centrally located monitors and standards as well. In an attempt to develop a low cost, easy to use monitor we evaluated a low-cost optical particle counter, the Dylos™, as a fine particulate mass sensor. Modified into a system called the Berkeley Aerosol Information Recording System (BAIRS), we compared performance against standard commercial instruments in chambers using polystyrene latex spheres, ammonium sulphate, and woodsmoke and in an urban ambient setting. Overall we find that the limit of detection of the BAIRS is less than 1 μg m-3 and the resolution is better than 1 μg m-3 for PM2.5. The BAIRS sizes small (<0.5 μm) particles, and is able to accurately estimate the mass concentration of particles of varying composition including organic, inorganic, and ambient particles. It is able to measure concentrations up to 10.0 mg m-3. In an ambient roof-top test of the BAIRS and a more expensive commercially available light scattering particle monitor the BAIRS response tracked well with the commercial monitor and daily means were within 80% of each other. We conclude that with appropriate modification the system could be developed into an accurate low cost realtime particle mass monitor for use in a wide range of applications. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

Garcia-Frapolli E.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Schilmann A.,Instituto Nacional Of Salud Publica | Berrueta V.M.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Berrueta V.M.,Grupo Mexico | And 8 more authors.
Ecological Economics | Year: 2010

Half of the world population relies on biomass for cooking, with very significant health as well as climate change impacts. Improved cookstoves have been disseminated as an alternative to reduce these impacts. However, few detailed studies about the economic benefits of improved cookstoves (ICS) interventions, including environmental and health co-benefits, exist to date. In this paper we perform a comprehensive economic evaluation of a dissemination program of ICS in rural Mexico. The resulting cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of the Patsari improved cookstove is presented, utilizing estimation of direct costs and benefits, including fuelwood savings, income generation, health impacts, environmental conservation, and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis is based on comprehensive data obtained through monitoring studies carried out in the Study Area from 2003 to the present. Results show that Patsari cookstoves represent a viable economic option for improving living conditions of the poorest inhabitants of rural Mexico, with benefit/cost ratios estimated between 11.4:1 and 9:1. The largest contributors to economic benefits stemmed from fuelwood savings and reductions in health impacts, which constituted 53% and 28% of the overall benefit, respectively. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Rosa G.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Majorin F.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Boisson S.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Barstow C.,University of Colorado at Boulder | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Diarrhoea and respiratory infections remain the biggest killers of children under 5 years in developing countries. We conducted a 5-month household randomised controlled trial among 566 households in rural Rwanda to assess uptake, compliance and impact on environmental exposures of a combined intervention delivering high-performance water filters and improved stoves for free. Compliance was measured monthly by self-report and spot-check observations. Semicontinuous 24-h PM2.5 monitoring of the cooking area was conducted in a random subsample of 121 households to assess household air pollution, while samples of drinking water from all households were collected monthly to assess the levels of thermotolerant coliforms. Adoption was generally high, with most householders reporting the filters as their primary source of drinking water and the intervention stoves as their primary cooking stove. However, some householders continued to drink untreated water and most continued to cook on traditional stoves. The intervention was associated with a 97.5% reduction in mean faecal indicator bacteria (Williams means 0.5 vs. 20.2 TTC/100 mL, p<0.001) and a median reduction of 48% of 24-h PM2.5 concentrations in the cooking area (p = 0.005). Further studies to increase compliance should be undertaken to better inform large-scale interventions. © 2014 Rosa et al. Source

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