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March 16, 2018

Eos features study led by Jack Kodros on health impacts of burning solid fuels

This week’s edition of AGU publication¬†Eos featured a study led by Ph.D. candidate Jack Kodros on the health impacts of burning solid fuels. Associate Professor Jeff Pierce as well as several other researchers from CSU’s Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering contributed to the study.

In the absence of reliable access to electricity and clean cooking technology, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population burns solid fuels for cooking and home heating. Smoke particles produced by these fires are harmful to human health. While previous studies have estimated mortality from either household or ambient air pollution separately, Kodros’ study quantifies the combined effects of both. It targets gaps in knowledge that, once overcome, could lead to more accurate mortality estimates.

“The main goal of this study was to highlight specific data sources that contribute the most uncertainty to estimates of premature mortality. These data sources include statistics on how people die in different countries, the relationships between death and air pollution, and air pollution concentrations. We provide an estimate of which of these data sources should be the focus of future research in order to most improve our understanding of the global health impact of exposure to particulate matter,” Kodros explained.

Ultimately, it is important to communicate accurate estimates of premature mortality due to air pollution to policy makers, Kodros said.

Read the Eos article, “Solid-Fuel Use Puts Human Health at Risk.”

Read the study, “Quantifying the Contribution to Uncertainty in Mortality Attributed to Household, Ambient, and Joint Exposure to PM2.5 From Residential Solid Fuel Use.”

Photo at top: Creative Commons image