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Advancing Science for Global Health
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Household Air Pollution Research Training Institute

In October 2012, the Center for Global Health Studies (CGHS) at Fogarty held the Household Air Pollution Research Training Institute for scientists from the U.S. and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) interested in developing research projects on the health effects of traditional and improved cookstoves.

Over the course of three days, faculty from diverse disciplines, backgrounds and sectors used a mix of didactic and participatory methods to enable approximately 20 investigators from LMICs and the U.S. to better define and understand:

  • health risks associated with household air pollution
  • epidemiological principles that can inform the development of robust and appropriate research study designs
  • the critical role of the social, behavioral and cultural factors influencing stove adoption
  • the complex and evolving technologies for improved stoves and fuels, exposure monitoring and biomarker development

After completing the training institute, researchers met the following learning objectives, gaining:

  • an understanding of the fundamentals of improved stove and fuel technology, including the principles of fuel and combustion efficiencies and stove performance testing
  • familiarity with the basics of relevant exposure measurements
  • an understanding of the importance of behavioral, cultural, economic, and social dynamics that influence stove adoption and use
  • hands-on experience developing experimental designs to test hypotheses regarding household air pollution and fire-related health effects



An estimated three billion people rely on basic cookstoves or open fires fueled by coal or solid biomass to cook and heat their homes. Household air pollution from these inefficient cookstoves and fuels has been associated with serious health risks, such as the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, child pneumonia, lung cancer and low birth-weight in infants. Limited research has been conducted to isolate and define the household air pollution risks caused by basic cookstoves and open fires; understand the health impacts of an improved cookstove; and identify low-cost stoves and interventions.


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
  • Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • U.S. Department of State

Updated March 2016