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Air pollution and the energy ladder in asian cities


  • Smith, Kirk R.
  • Apte, Michael G.
  • Yuqing, Ma
  • Wongsekiarttirat, Wathana
  • Kulkarni, Ashwini


Household fuel switching from lower to higher quality fuels, i.e. movement up the “energy ladder,” generally leads to substantially lower emissions of health-damaging pollutants. The extent to which human exposures are reduced is difficult to predict, however, because of interactions due to penetration of outdoor pollutants into homes and vice versa. In order to help answer the question of how much exposures might be reduced by movement up the energy ladder, a three-city household air pollution study covering particulates (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon monoxide (CO) was conducted in and near households spanning the most important current steps in each city's energy ladder. Steps examined were biomass-kerosene-gas in Pune, India; coal-gas in Beijing, China; and charcoal-gas in Bangkok, Thailand. In most instances, 24-hour sampling was conducted and some personal monitoring was undertaken during cooking periods. Preliminary calculations of the exposure and health implications of fuel switching are presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Smith, Kirk R. & Apte, Michael G. & Yuqing, Ma & Wongsekiarttirat, Wathana & Kulkarni, Ashwini, 1994. "Air pollution and the energy ladder in asian cities," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 587-600.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:19:y:1994:i:5:p:587-600
    DOI: 10.1016/0360-5442(94)90054-X

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