Kaski Air Pollution Study (KAPS)
The Kaski Air Pollution Study (KAPS) is an NIEHS-funded R01 case-control study of pulmonary TB disease and latent TB infection  in Nepal (Co-PIs: Michael Bates and Kirk Smith).  The cases are adult men and women recruited from the Regional TB Clinic (RTC) in Pokhara, and the controls are from surrounding communities, recruited through population-based sampling.  The aims are to determine whether biomass fuel and/or kerosene used for cooking, heating or lighting are risk factors for M tuberculosis infection or TB disease.

Bhaktapur Air Pollution Case-Control Study
The Bhaktapur air pollution case-control study was funded by the governments of Norway and Denmark in 2006 and the Kirk Smith research group was invited to add a household air pollution (HAP) monitoring component.  This study examines the association between solid fuel HAP and risk of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children in Bhaktapur, Nepal. The HAP level was measured in 824 kitchens of pneumonia cases and age-matched controls without pneumonia using the UC Berkeley Particle and Temperature Sensors (UCB-PATS). Separately, a sub-study was conducted in 60 households to validate the monitoring instruments.

PEER Study of Child Pneumonia
Through the PEER Health program (click 'Read More' below for more information), our research group is assisting colleagues in Nepal to conduct a study examining the impacts on household air pollution and child respiratory disease of a biogas intervention in Western Nepal.  Biogas, methane produced biologically from animal waste in household digesters and burned cleanly for cooking and lighting, is used in many parts of the world, but has apparently not yet been examined systematically as a health intervention. 


Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre (CCAPC)
CCAPC is a new partnership among the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Sri Ramachandra University Chennai, University of California Berkeley, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Delhi., a credible information centre providing research, and analysis related to air pollution, serves as the Centre’s knowledge partner. With its Secretariat housed at TERI, New Delhi, CCAPC focuses on comparing and evaluating policy options for dealing with India’s health-damaging air pollution of all types, indoor, outdoor, rural, and urban. It will facilitate a platform for institutions to work together to make appropriate policy recommendations and provide actionable solutions to manage the problem. By virtue of its nature of work, CCAPC will also work closely with but be independent of the Ministries of Health; Petroleum; New and Renewable Energy; and Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and Indian Council of Medical Research. Additionally to publishing policy papers that will help enhance the understanding of air pollution management, the activities of CCAPC will also involve running a post-doctorate program with mentorship across all four partner institutes.

Newborn Stove Project (NBSP)
NSBP – a partnership between the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN), Columbia University, UC Berkeley, and Sri Ramachandra University (SRU) – evaluated the feasibility of distributing clean cookstoves through the rural antenatal care system, which targets arguably the most vulnerable population -- poor, pregnant, rural women. The study distributed 200 blower stoves to pregnant women at INCLEN's SOMAARTH field site and tracked usage of the stoves continuously for 15 months using our Stove Use Monitoring System (SUMS) and measured pollutant concentrations and exposures before and after introduction of the stove. Funding for this project came from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Lung Foundation, and the World Bank. For more information, see 

Mukhopadhyay R, Sambandam S, Pillarisetti A, Jack D, Mukhopadhyay K, Balakrishnan K, Vaswani M, Bates MN, Kinney PL, Arora N, & Smith, KR. (2012). Cooking practices, air quality, and the acceptability of advanced cookstoves in Haryana, India: an exploratory study to inform large-scale interventions. Global Health Action, 5. doi:10.3402/gha.v5i0.19016

Village and Regional Pollution from Household Fuels
This multi-year project has three goals and is conducted with several US and Indian partners at the Haryana SOMAARTH site noted above and operated by INCLEN.

  1. The contribution of household fuels to outdoor air pollution has been estimated to be substantial in many parts of the world, for example about one-quarter of ambient PM2.5 in India, but has not been well characterized.  This is partly due to lack of understanding of how much such sources contribute to secondary particle formation in the atmosphere, a significant portion of outdoor pollution exposure.  Although outdoor pollution is widely recognized as a problem and most major governments, including India’s, have clean air legislation, there is little understanding of the degree to which clean household combustion will be needed to meet outdoor air pollution goals.  Quantifying these relationships through over all seasons is one purpose of this project.
  2. In addition, there is recognition that changing out one household at a time in a village may not be result in much reduction in exposure because of the “neighborhood pollution” created when the rest of the community is still using polluting cooking methods. This project addresses whether community-scale interventions may be needed to reduce personal exposures to cookstove emissions in India
  3. As advanced biomass stoves have not to date been able to reliably achieve low emissions, this project focuses on monitoring the changes in emissions and exposures due to community-level introduction of fully clean alternatives: LPG and electric cooking.

 Partial funding has come from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Heat stress among farmers
One of the potentially large impacts of climate change could be an increasingly difficult trade off in outdoor workers between productivity and health as the combined increase in temperature and humidity approaches or exceeds physiological limits for manual labor.  Jointly with Indian colleagues in Chennai, we are conducing preliminary measurements and interviews during the summer 2014 with small farmers in Tamil Nadu to examine how they deal with this trade-off.


Policy Project with the Mongolian Ministry of Environment & Green Development
With many partners, we are estimating the health impacts of several energy policy pathways for the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaatar (UB) through 2025. Pathways include considerations for household heating, electricity generation, and traffic, and are used to model outdoor and indoor environmental exposures to particulate matter less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5). Exposure and health impacts are estimated. 

A Pilot Study of Longterm, Wintertime Indoor PM2.5 Concentrations in Gers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Continuous measurements of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) were taken inside and directly outside households in UB during winter 2014. We seek to better understand the  magnitudes and patterns of variation in PM2.5 levels in the ger region of UB.


Village ambient pollution
In collaboration with Chinese colleagues, we monitored the metrology, outdoor air pollution, and household stove use over a year in a village outside Beijing.  We found outdoor pollution levels as severe as in the middle of the city, which were influenced heavily by local household sources, mainly coal and wood heating in the winter.  Publications in progress.

An Assessment of Programs to Promote Improved Household Stoves in China

This project was an independent, multidisciplinary review of China’s improved rural household stoves programs that were carried out by MOA, MOH, and SDPC. The project had three major objectives, i.e.:

1. to evaluate the implementation methods used to promote improved stoves;
2. to evaluate the commercial stove production and marketing organizations that were created during the same period; and
3. to measure the household impacts of the programs.