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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(8), 810; doi:10.3390/ijerph13080810

Fuel for Life: Domestic Cooking Fuels and Women’s Health in Rural China

1
Institute for Health Care & Public Management, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart 70599, Germany
2
Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Economics and Management, Northwest A&F University, 3 Taicheng Road, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessandra Cincinelli and Tania Martellini
Received: 23 June 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Quality and Health 2016)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [492 KB, uploaded 10 August 2016]   |  

Abstract

Background: There is evidence that household air pollution is associated with poor health in China, and that this form of air pollution may even be more of a health concern in China than the much-publicized outdoor air pollution. However, there is little empirical evidence on the relationship between household air pollution and health in China based on nationally representative and longitudinal data. This study examines the association between the type of domestic cooking fuel and the health of women aged ≥16 in rural China. Methods: Using longitudinal and biomarker data from the China Family Panel Studies (n = 12,901) and the China Health and Nutrition Survey (n = 15,539), we investigate the impact of three major domestic cooking fuels (wood/straw, coal, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)) on health status using both cross-sectional and panel approaches. Results: Compared to women whose households cook with dirty fuels like wood/straw, women whose households cook with cleaner fuels like LPG have a significantly lower probability of chronic or acute diseases and are more likely to report better health. Cooking with domestic coal instead of wood or straw is also associated with elevated levels of having certain risks (such as systolic blood pressure) related to cardiovascular diseases. Conclusions: Our study provides evidence that using cleaner fuels like LPG is associated with better health among women in rural China, suggesting that the shift from dirty fuels to cleaner choices may be associated with improved health outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: household cooking fuels; health; women; rural China household cooking fuels; health; women; rural China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nie, P.; Sousa-Poza, A.; Xue, J. Fuel for Life: Domestic Cooking Fuels and Women’s Health in Rural China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 810.

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