201301 Health Impacts of Household Air Pollution

A request for applications (RFA) with set aside is proposed, entitled “Health Impacts of Household Air Pollution” using the R01 Research Project grant mechanism.


According to the WHO, the leading global environmental cause of death is household air pollution (HAP) from burning solid fuels (biomass/coal/kerosene) for cooking, heating, and lighting in the home. Women and children have the highest exposures due to their domestic roles. The mortality estimate is four million deaths per year due largely to acute pneumonia in children under five, and COPD, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases in adults (Lancet 2012). To date, only a single randomized controlled trial (RCT) using improved cook stoves has been published (Lancet 2011); this study showed that reducing HAP exposures significantly reduces mortality from acute pneumonia in children under five. Given the enormous public health impact of HAP, over 460 organizations—from NIH, other U.S. government partners, other countries and the private sector—have partnered with the UN Foundation to form the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. A major challenge for the field is to strengthen the evidence-base documenting whether, and how, reduction of HAP exposure actually improves health.


The new RFA will encourage a multidisciplinary approach and will seek participation from other Institutes and Centers at NIH as well as US Government partners such as EPA, USAID and CDC.


The objective of this concept is to document the health impacts of HAP, principally on women and children, and what types of improved stove/fuel interventions can significantly reduce the associated morbidity and mortality. Examples include pregnancy outcomes, perinatal morbidity and mortality, impaired growth and development in infants, childhood acute lower respiratory tract infection (ALRI), childhood asthma, and other infection risks such as TB in both HIV and non-HIV infected populations.


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