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In China, replacing coal and biomass stoves has saved lives

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Michael Wilson
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But between 2005 and 2015, China's population moved to urban centers and grew wealthier.

Now, researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing and the University of California Berkeley say that the shift likely saves about 400,000 lives annually.

Research published this week showed that population-weighted exposure to fine-particle pollution in Chinese households decreased by nearly half between 2005 and 2015.

Ninety percent of that decrease came from changes in cookstove and heating technology.

These changes avoided 400,000 premature deaths from particulate exposure annually, because fine-particle pollution is strongly linked to premature death in people with lung or heart disease, and it causes a host of other lung and heart problems.

As of 2015, household fuels still accounted for 43 percent of the fine-particulate-related mortality in China, as solid fuels like coal and biomass haven't been completely eliminated.

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Michael Wilson
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