When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 27 January 2013

Cooking with firewood is a common health hazard for millions of women around the world

The new Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report, released in December 2012, says air pollution has become one of the top 10 killers in the world.

GBD, a global initiative involving hundreds of experts and the World Health Organisation (WHO), studied deaths and illnesses from all causes across the world. Its latest analysis shows that in South Asia, outdoor air pollution has become the sixth most dangerous killer.

Even more alarmingly, indoor air pollution (IAP) – right inside our homes and offices — is the second highest killer in our region.

IAP rarely gets much attention from environmental activists. Maybe because it affects mostly women and children, especially those in poorer households. But no one is immune from its health impacts.

This isn’t just about cigarettes. Second hand tobacco smoke is certainly…

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