The Risk of Burning Wood or Coal

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Burning wood or coal to cook food has a high risk of dying from respiratory diseases, according to new research conducted in China and published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In the World today, about three billion people lives in households and environment that regularly burn wood, coal or other solid fuels to cook their food. Solid fuels release very high levels of pollutants, especially very small particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs. Most of these households are found in the rural areas of low- and middle-income countries. However, China is rapidly urbanizing, one third of its population still relies on solid fuels.

A group Study of 280,000 Chinese Never-Smokers,” researchers from the Oxford University in the United Kingdom and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences report that chronic and acute respiratory disease hospitalizations or deaths were 36 percent higher among those who used wood or coal for cooking compared to those who used electricity or gas.

The researchers also report that the longer people used solid fuels, the higher the risk of hospitalization or death from a respiratory disease than those who cooked with gas or electricity. Those who used wood or coal for 40 years or longer, had a 54 percent higher risk of hospitalization or death from respiratory disease, while those who switched from solid fuels to clean-burning fuels reduced their risk to only 14 percent higher than those who never cooked with wood or coal.

A very high rate of people suffering respiratory disease all over the world are still yet to find out the cause of their disease.

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