The contribution of household fuels to ambient air pollution in India: a comparison of recent estimates

What is the single largest source of air pollution exposure in India? You would be perhaps surprised to find that the answer, with a near consensus in the published scientific literature, is neither transportation nor stubble burning. Instead, it seems to be the millions of households across the country burning solid fuels like firewood in their homes for cooking, heating and other energy services. The resulting pollution not only has an enormous health impact on the households themselves, but it likely accounts for a quarter to a third of ambient air pollution across the country. Working towards ensuring universal access to cleaner fuels like LPG should therefore be one of the pillars of India’s pollution control efforts.