Children Health

Dirty cooking fuel linked to higher rate of deaths among children in India: Study | Health Conditions News

A recent research conducted by the university in the United States revealed that exposure to dirty cooking oil in India kills around 27 of 1000 babies and children in the country every year. 

For the study, a health survey was conducted for over 25 years, in which all kinds of polluting fuels used in households were identified. (Image: Stefano Madrigali/Moment/Getty Images)

New Delhi: Cooking oil plays a vital role in our regular diet and the wrong choice can significantly impact a child’s health. Children are more likely to have digestive health issues as compared to adults. A recent research conducted by the university in the United States revealed that exposure to dirty cooking oil in India kills around 27 of 1000 babies and children in the country every year.

According to the study, the death rate is higher in young girls as compared to boys in Indian households. This is not because girls are weak or vulnerable to pollution-linked respiratory diseases but because their families are less likely to manage the treatment when a young girl falls ill.

The report has been published in the Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation under the title ‘Cooking Fuel Choice and Child Mortality in India’. According to the lead author of the study, the first paper gave a robust causal estimate of the real cost of using biomass fuels for households in terms of the lives of young kids.

For the study, a health survey was conducted for over 25 years, in which all kinds of polluting fuels used in households were identified.

The mortality rate is higher in girls than in boys

According to the researchers, the household survey data was conducted from 1992 to 2016 to determine the human cost of reliance on dirty cooking oil and they found that the largest effect was shown in infants under a month old. As per Basu, the lead author, the age of the infant is such that the lungs are not fully developed and when infants are most closely stuck to their mothers, who are often the primary home cooks.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), about a third of the world’s population cooks food over an open fire or in stoves that are fuelled by biomass (wood, animal dung, or crop waste) that contributes to an estimated 3.2 million deaths each year across the world.


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