Field study on the relationship between cookstove emissions and personal exposure during typical usage in Kenyan homes

Approximately 3 billion people around the world use open fires or traditional stoves with solid fuels, such as wood, charcoal, dung, crop residues, and coal, for cooking and heating their homes. Open fires and traditional stoves emit pollutants that contribute to household air pollution (HAP). Exposure to HAP is a risk factor for a range of serious chronic and acute health effects, including pneumonia, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart disease. The Institute for Health Metrics and evaluation estimates that 2.6 million deaths per year can be attributed to HAP.

This study measured emissions from the lowest emission solid biomass cookstoves and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stoves and the corresponding personal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) during typical usage in Kenyan homes.


There are high levels of pollutant emissions from traditional cooking practices, and exposure to household air pollution is an important risk factor for health; however, the relationship between cookstove emissions and personal exposure is not well characterized. This relationship is critical to understanding and estimating the impacts and benefits of clean cooking to health.


Lower emission cooking technologies and fuels are available, and this research sought to further elucidate the relationship between emissions and exposure for the highest performing stove and fuel types, and how that relationship is impacted by the adoption, user behaviors, kitchen size and ventilation, and other relevant factors. Specifically, the research sought to better define the relationship between cookstove emissions of and personal exposure to PM2.5 for the lowest emission solid biomass stoves and fuels currently available on the market, as well as for LPG stoves.

These efforts will help better estimate the health benefits of scaling up cleaner, low PM2.5 emission cooking. The data and models provided will be used to support policy decisions, strengthen standards, and may provide model-based methods to estimate changes in risk due to reduced emissions, decreasing the need for costly personal exposure monitoring. Specifically, the data from this study will strengthen the model that the World Health Organization uses to make their indoor air quality guidelines and recommendations.

What we did

The Coalition provided support to Berkeley Air Monitoring Group to measure emissions of solid biomass cookstoves and LPG stoves, as well as corresponding personal exposure to PM2.5 during typical usage in Kenyan homes.

Pollutants (SLCPs)