• ICIMOD publication


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Cookstove smoke impact on ambient air quality and probable consequences for human health in rural locations of Southern Nepal

  • Sagar Adhikari
  • Parth Sarathi Mahapatra
  • Chiranjibi Prasad Pokheral
  • Siva Praveen Puppala
  • Summary

Residential emission from traditional biomass cookstoves is a major source of indoor and outdoor air pollution in developing countries. However, exact quantification of the contribution of biomass cookstove emissions to outdoor air is still lacking. In order to address this gap, we designed a field study to estimate the emission factors of PM2.5 (particulate matter of less than 2.5 µ diameter) and BC (black carbon) indoors, from cookstove smoke using biomass fuel and with smoke escaping outdoors from the roof of the house. The field study was conducted in four randomly selected households in two rural locations of southern Nepal during April 2017. In addition, real-time measurement of ambient PM2.5 was performed for 20 days during the campaign in those two rural sites and one background location to quantify the contribution of cooking-related emissions to the ambient PM2.5. Emission factor estimates indicate that 66% of PM2.5 and 80% of BC emissions from biomass cookstoves directly escape into ambient air. During the cooking period, ambient PM2.5 concentrations in the rural sites were observed to be 37% higher than in the nearby background location. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s AirQ+ model simulation, this 37% rise in ambient PM2.5 during cooking hours can lead to approximately 82 cases of annual premature deaths among the rural population of Chitwan district. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.