Environmental and health impacts from the introduction of improved wood stoves: evidence from a field experiment in Guatemala
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Improved wood-burning stoves offer a possible solution that can simultaneously impact both problems of deforestation and problems of respiratory health in developing countries. We carried out a field experiment in which new fuel-efficient woodstoves were allocated in a Guatemalan village via the use of a lottery. A 2008 baseline survey was carried out on 2,148 individuals in 351 households, and then a follow-up survey was carried out in 2009, 4 months after households received the stoves. We found that households with the new stoves reduced wood consumption by an average of 59.1%. We also found indications of reductions in indoor air related health problems, where point estimates indicate a significant reduction in reported respiratory symptoms by 48.6% among women and 63.3% among children.
KeywordsBiomass fuel Indoor air pollution Deforestation Wood stoves Field experiments
The authors wish to thank Keith Calabria, Victoriano Chan Ajce, Pamela Chevalier, Felipe Dizon, Monica Murillo, Melinda Perez, Laine Rutledge, Gonzalo Villaran, our outstanding field enumerators and wood stove installers, and donors to the Mayan Partners stove program. Funding to this project from the University of San Francisco Jesuit Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.
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