According to recent reports, nearly three billion people in the developing world cook food and heat their homes with open fires or cookstoves that are fueled by solid biofuels. The smoke exposure from these activities is estimated to lead to approximately four million premature deaths each year. The emissions from these processes also add significantly to global emissions of greenhouse gases, short-lived climate forcing agents, and air pollutants. However, emission estimates from these processes and their atmospheric impacts are still highly uncertain. Furthermore, stove technologies exist that enable reductions in the amount of fuel used for cooking, and in emissions. Yet, the extent to which these technologies will be utilized, change emissions, and impact health and atmospheric composition is unclear.
The REACCTING study is designed to deliver two key contributions to the field of clean cookstove research.
A carefully designed stove intervention that:
- Provides two stoves for each household randomly assigned to an intervention arm since we know that households already rely on multiple stoves to meet their cooking needs; and
- Allows a side-by-side comparison of both “high” and “low” end biofuel-burning stove models.
A comprehensive set of measurements to assess the intervention’s impacts along a pipeline of intermediate to final outcomes, including:
- Data on cooking behaviors and stove use from surveys and stove use monitors
- In-situ stove emissions measurements
- Measurements of personal exposure to pollutants
- Microenvironment (i.e., in-home) air quality measurements
- Monitoring of regional air quality