Hopkins to use $30 million grant to study impact of cooking methods on air pollution

Do cleaner cooking methods reduce air pollution in people's homes?

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is among a collaboration of three institutions that has won a five-year, $30 million grant to study if using cleaner-burning cooking fuel can reduce air pollution in people's homes.

The grant was awarded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Hopkins, the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and Colorado State University.

Dr. William Checkley, an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will be one of the lead researchers on the study, which will be conducted in India, Guatemala, Peru and Rwanda.

"Indoor air pollution caused by cookstoves is one of the top health risks in developing countries, causing deaths from low birth weight among babies, pneumonia in young children, and heart and lung problems in adults," NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, said in a statement. "By working with our global partners on alternative fuel solutions, we have an opportunity to reduce that risk significantly for millions of people."

About three billion people around the world still cook or heat with open fires or traditional stoves using wood, coal and charcoal, according to NIH. As part of the study, researchers will recruit 800 pregnant women at each site. Half of the subjects will be randomly assigned to receive liquefied petroleum gas stoves and the rest will use their traditional cooking methods.

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