Indoor air pollution, due to household solid fuel use, is responsible for a significant burden of disease in developing countries. Fuel choice is often associated with household income. However, many other socio-economic and environmental factors also influence the choice of fuel and the resultant indoor air pollution exposure.
Millions of people use coal, and others solid fuels as a cooking fuel. These fuels are generally used in different inefficient stoves made of either stones, mud or a metal sheet without a chimney or smoke hood. The resulting smoke contains a range of pollutants, the concentrations of which are often significantly higher than those outdoors, even in the most polluted cities.
Among those who are exposed to these higher levels of air pollutants are women and young children. Smoke, in the indoor environment, is associated with pneumonia and other acute lower respiratory infections among children under 5 years of age, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer among adults. According to The World Health Organisation millions of people die every year from the resultant smoke from household solid fuel use.
Switching from traditional solid fuels, such as wood or charcoal to modern fuels can bring about the largest reduction in exposure to indoor air pollution. Modern alternatives include non-solid fuels like kerosene, biogas, natural gas and LPG. Among these LPG, remains the best option due to its large reserves, minimal environmental impacts and affordability.
This last criterions is the driving factor for LPG adoption in the developing world. In the past, LPG prices were linked to oil prices because it is a by product of oil production. However, with the recent rise in natural gas production, this correlation with oil prices will be reduced, as LPG is also a by-product of production of natural gas.
Cooking with LPG results in improved indoor air quality as it is a clean burning fuel that provides smoke free indoor cooking.