You know the TV ads that remind you that the air inside your house is dirtier than the air outside? Now imagine your house has one room, and you burn charcoal in your cooking stove. Oh, and your house has no ventilation. This is a basic reality in many places, and it leads to serious health problems.
One and a half million people a year die from exposure to indoor air pollution, mostly women and children who spend the most time inside the house (statistic from Envirofit). 20% of deaths in China can be attributed to conditions related indoor air pollution (“Household Energy, Indoor Air Pollution and Health: Overview of Experiences and Lessons in China,” CEIHD 2005).
There are several aspects to this problem: the use of biomass fuels (charcoal, dung, wood, crop waste), stove efficiency, and ventilation.
The Envirofit stove is designed to be more fuel efficient to produce fewer toxic fumes and particulate matter during the burning of biomass fuels. One model is even designed with a chimney to improve ventilation.
Envirofit cook stoves are currently being produced for India and are designed with Indian cooking traditions in mind. The engineers behind the line hope to expand offerings to Asia, South America, and Africa as well. The stoves sell for $11-47 to make them accessable to as many people as possible.