energy measures to contribute to the solution of
under nutrition must be built into development strategies
The energy-health nexus arises because, without proper control,
the production and use of energy can be accompanied by adverse impacts on the
environment and, ultimately, on human health.
all megacities in developing countries have air
pollution levels well above World Health Organisation (WHO)
The combustion of fossil fuels is the largest source of
atmospheric pollution involving sulphur and nitrogen oxides, heavy metals,
unburned hydrocarbons, particulates and carbon monoxide, among other directly
health-damaging pollutants. Such pollution arises, not only as a result of
fossil fuel combustion in power plants and industry, but also from motor
vehicles and households.
In urban environments, the transport sector is a major cause of
the high levels of air pollution - gaseous pollutants and ultra-fine
particulates emitted by petrol-powered vehicles, fine particulates emitted from
poorly-maintained diesel engines, secondary (photochemical) pollutants such as
ozone and the additional insidious pollutant, lead from traditional petrol use.
Of these, suspended particulates are the major cause of concern to human health.
All megacities in developing countries, and most industrialised countries, have
air pollution levels well above the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
Furthermore, the situation is getting worse because of the high growth rates of
vehicle fleets in the context of inadequate road infrastructure and growing
urbanisation in many developing countries.
women and children have the highest exposures to
indoor air pollution
Household use of biomass (and coal) results in greater human
exposure to pollutants because emissions are high, ventilation is often poor,
people are generally nearby at the time of use, and the affected populations are
large. Significant health effects can thus be expected. The largest direct
impacts would seem to be respiratory infections in children (an important class
of disease) and chronic lung disease in women.
The energy-health nexus consists, therefore, of the fact that
current energy utilisation patterns in rural households give rise to the problem
of indoor air pollution affecting an increasing population and, in
cities, to the growing problem of urban air