With an aim to reduce the number of respiratory diseases in households, the World Health Organization has recommended replacing traditional cooking fuels, such as coal and wood, with cleaner fuels like cooking gas and electricity.
Household air pollution is a major contributor to death due to lower respiratory tract infections in children and chronic respiratory disorders in adults, the WHO said.
In India, more than half of chronic respiratory disease cases (34 percent in men and 95 percent in women) occur among non-smokers, Dheeraj Gupta of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, told the media here.
The solution lies in replacement of solid fuels with cleaner fuels like electricity, solar biogas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or cooking gas, he said.
Exposure to fumes from solid fuels can also be reduced by using improved cooking stoves with better combustion or by improving ventilation in the kitchens.
Other side-effects of household air pollution include tuberculosis, cataract and poor maternal health.