Gautam Yadama, MS, PhD
Professor of Social Work
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Approximately 2.4 billion people in the developing nations burn unprocessed biomass to cook food. Negative health outcomes associated with exposure to such biomass burning include chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma; acute respiratory infections; decreased lung function; and tuberculosis. The WHO estimates that mortality attributable to biomass burning includes 485,000 deaths due to COPD and 110,000 deaths due to acute lower respiratory infections per year in India alone. I am keen to undertake transdisciplinary community based research, with a team from medicine, engineering, and social sciences, to examine the uptake of better combustion and stove designs to improve the health of the poor in underdeveloped societies. Use of cleaner burning stoves will significantly reduce black carbon emissions and result in better health outcomes. The poor who stand to benefit the most from such technologies routinely abandon them for lack of better cultural and social fit.