Stop the killer in the kitchen
Household smoke kills more people every year than TB, AIDS and malaria
Over four million people die each year after inhaling smoke from kitchen stoves and fires.
Most victims are women and young children.
But these are deaths that could be prevented – using simple solutions.
More than three billion people worldwide burn wood, dung and coal for cooking, boiling water and heating.
Burning these fuels on basic stoves or three-stone fires release lethal fumes. But women need to feed their families and keep warm – and they can’t get cleaner fuels like electricity or gas. It is their only choice.
What can we do to stop the killer in the kitchen?
Practical Action has developed simple smoke hoods, which reduce indoor smoke levels by up to 80%.
Fuel-efficient stoves can also help. Affordable and easy to use, they burn smaller amounts of wood more fully – meaning significantly less smoke.
And in some areas, cheap liquid petroleum gas (LPG) or biogas produced from animal dung can provide families with clean, energy-efficient ways to cook without the risks of smoke.
Simple ideas to save lives
Read more about the practical technologies that can reduce smoke from cooking in the kitchen.
Where are we working?
Right now our projects on the ground are fighting smoke – the killer in the kitchen:
How can you help?
Household smoke is a killer. But we have simple solutions that can stop it.
With your help, we can build more smoke hoods and improved stoves that will stop the killer in the kitchen.
How can we save even more lives?
Practical Action works directly with those affected by indoor smoke to cut indoor air pollution and improve health. We also work with governments and other agencies to scale up this approach beyond our own projects.
The Nepali government has announced an ambition for all homes in Nepal to be smoke-free. And the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves aims to provide 100 million clean-burning stoves to households in Africa, Asia and South America by 2020.
The message is spreading. World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched BreatheLife, a global communications campaign to increase public awareness of indoor air pollution as a major health and climate risk.
For over 20 years Practical Action has been leading research into the effects of indoor air pollution, and advocating the large-scale changes that will save lives.
The Poor People's Energy Outlook (PPEO) looks at the health and social impacts of relying on traditional sources of energy
Practical Action Consulting's research has looked at the impacts of clean cooking solutions on women in South Asia
Our 2004 report Smoke: The Killer in the Kitchen helped to start global action on indoor air pollution
We also undertook research in Sudan, Kenya and Nepal to identify, install and monitor sustainable technologies to alleviate smoke
Practical Action's technical information service, Practical Answers, provides free information on many aspects of household energy, improved stoves and ways to reduce indoor air pollution while cooking.
Practical Action, in conjunction with Bosch Siemens, have produced the Heathy Smoke Hoods online toolkit that will produce a downloadable technical brief for any individual or organization intending to implement projects to alleviate indoor air pollution.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstove's Clean Cooking Catalogue is a comprehensive collection of information about stoves, and the Household Air Pollution Intervention Tool is a useful tool for calculating emissions