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Taming the killer in the kitchen: mitigating household air pollution from solid-fuel cookstoves through building design

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Abstract

In this study, we attempt to mitigate household air pollution (HAP) through improved kitchen design. Field surveys were conducted in ten kitchens of rural western India, which were then modelled and simulated for dynamic indoor airflow network analysis. The simulated results were statistically clustered using principal component analysis and hierarchical agglomerative clustering, to construct a cumulative built environment parameter called ‘Built Factor’ for each kitchen, and subsequently a derivative matrix was developed. Categorization of better performing kitchens from this derivative matrix enabled in deriving the built parameter thresholds for a ‘better’ kitchen design. This derived kitchen showed 60 % reduction in PM2.5 peak concentration during cooking hours. The evaluation described here is essentially a “proof of concept”, that effective building design can be an alternative way to reduce HAP without the introduction of chimneys, improved cookstoves or shifting to cleaner fuel.

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Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the people of the Ashane village, Maharashtra, India for extending their support during the field surveys and experimental validation stage. We also extend our thanks to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and the suggestions for improving quality of the paper. Special thanks to Prof. Nadav Davidovich and his team, Department Chairperson, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, for the inspiration through Global Health and Ethics Summer School-2015. 

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Correspondence to Ronita Bardhan.

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Debnath, R., Bardhan, R. & Banerjee, R. Taming the killer in the kitchen: mitigating household air pollution from solid-fuel cookstoves through building design. Clean Techn Environ Policy 19, 705–719 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1251-7

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