One Great Love

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Submitted By moymoy1185
Words 1677
Pages 7
Fuel from the Fields

Charcoal
B a c k g r o u n d

More than 2 billion people use wood, charcoal, dung or agricultural residues as the primary fuel for their cooking and heating needs, leading to significant health, economic and environmental consequences. Burning wood or agricultural residues produces smoke with a variety of irritant pollutants, some of which are known carcinogens. More than 1.5 million deaths a year are caused by acute respiratory infections from breathing smoke from indoor cooking fires. Women and children are generally exposed to the greatest levels of pollutants and it is children who suffer the greatest health risk – respiratory infections are the leading cause of death of young children worldwide. Small-scale subsistence farmers who make less than US$2 per day may use wood charcoal for cooking fuel. In areas where wood is scarce and farmers are not able to collect it themselves, the cost of cooking fuel is a significant drain on their limited resources. An estimated 50 billion hours are spent collecting firewood each year and families can spend over 25% of their income on fuel, leaving them with less income to cover other basic needs such as medicine, food and clean water. For comparison, even the poorest 20% of the U.S. population spends only 1% of their income on energy for their household.

In the year 2000, indoor air pollution from solid fuel use was responsible for more than 1.6 million annual deaths and 2.7% of the global burden of disease. -World Health Organization

Furthermore, many areas of the developing world face massive environmental problems due to deforestation as almost half the world’s timber harvest is burned for fuel. For example, Haiti is 98% deforested as a result of demand for fuel. Due to necessity driven by severe economic and political instability, the remaining trees continue to be cut down.
Deforestation results…...

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