The Effects of Fuel-Efficient Cookstoves on Fuel Use, Particulate Matter, and Cooking Practices: Results from a Randomized Trial in Rural Uganda
Smoky cookfires contribute to global climate change and kill approximately four million people annually. While many studies have examined the effects of fuel-efficient cookstoves, this study was the first to do so while selling stoves at market prices. After introducing a fuel-efficient cookstove, fuelwood use and household air particulates declined by 12% and by smaller percentages after adjusting for observer-induced bias, or the Hawthorne effect. These reductions were less than laboratory predictions and fell well short of World Health Organization pollution targets. Even when introducing a second stove, most households continued to use their traditional stoves for most cooking.