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EPA Announces Grants To Reduce Indoor Air Pollution, Supports World Rural Women's Day

Release Date: 10/14/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(10/14/04) In support of World Rural Women's Day, Oct. 15, 2004, and the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, EPA is announcing $1.3 million in grants to reduce health risks from indoor air pollution resulting from burning crop waste, animal waste, wood and coal indoors for home cooking and heating in rural areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The grants will fund 11 pilot projects seeking to improve health, livelihood and quality of life by increasing affordable, reliable, clean, efficient, and safe home cooking and heating practices that reduce people's exposure to indoor air pollution. The $1.3 million in funding is the first of its kind provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. EPA. In announcing the pilot project, U.S. EPA affirms its support for United Nations Development Programme and World Health Organization efforts to raise awareness and spur action to reduce indoor air pollution from home cooking and heating practices in rural areas of the developing world.

In a 2002 report the World Health Organization said indoor smoke from solid fuels is a major risk factor contributing to the global and regional burden of disease. More than two billion people, almost half of the world's population, still burn traditional fuels like firewood, coal, crop residues, and dung indoors for home cooking and heating. This widespread use results in the premature deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people annually, with women and children being most significantly affected.

The Partnership for Clean Indoor Air pilot project grants will increase awareness of indoor air pollution, its impact on rural women, and generate global action to improve families' health and quality of life. The grants will increase the awareness of the dangers of indoor air pollution and benefits of improved alternatives among one million people, and reduce exposure of 160,000 people over the next two years.

The 11 pilot projects include the following:

Mexico Solar Household Energy will manufacture and sell 2,000 solar panel ovens in rural Mexico.

Nigeria Centre for Household Energy and Environment (CEHEEN) will introduce methanol stove-fuel cooking system in Nigeria.

Guatemala HELPS International will encourage the use of the retained heat cooker in rural areas of Guatemala.

Honduras Trees, Water & People will promote more efficient wood-burning stoves in an urban area of Honduras.

Uganda Venture Strategies, in collaboration with Center for Entrepreneurship in International Health and Development, will promote local technology and more efficient wood stoves in urban areas of Uganda.

India Development Alternatives: improved wood burning stoves (and other technologies) in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, India.

India Alternative Rural Technology Institute will introduce biogas technology in rural areas of Maharashtra, India.

China The Nature Conservancy will promote solar water heaters, biogas units, and biomass stoves in northwest Yunnan Province, China.

China Institute for Environmental Health and Related Product Safety will promote improved coal and biomass technology in rural Guizhou and Gansu Provinces of China.

Projects in Mauritania and South Africa will soon be announced. More information on each of the projects is available online at: .

In August 2002 at the World Summit for Sustainable Development, EPA and other partners launched the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air. This partnership is bringing together governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations to address the serious health effects associated with elevated indoor levels of smoke from cooking and heating practices. To learn more about the Partnership's efforts to improve indoor air in homes around the world, go to: .