A systematic review to evaluate the association between clean cooking technologies and time use in low- and middle-income countries

Suzanne M. Simkovich, Kendra N. Williams, Suzanne Pollard, David Dowdy, Sheela Sinharoy, Thomas F. Clasen, Elisa Puzzolo, William Checkley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Interventions implementing clean fuels to mitigate household air pollution in low- and middle-income countries have focused on environmental and health outcomes, but few have evaluated time savings. We performed a systematic review, searching for studies of clean fuel interventions that measured time use. A total of 868 manuscripts were identified that met the search criteria, but only 2 met the inclusion criteria. Both were cross-sectional and were conducted in rural India. The first surveyed the female head of household (141 using biogas and 58 using biomass) and reported 1.2 h saved per day collecting fuel and 0.7 h saved cooking, resulting in a combined 28.9 days saved over an entire year. The second surveyed the head of household (37 using biogas and 68 using biomass, 13% female) and reported 1.5 h saved per day collecting fuel, or 22.8 days saved over a year. Based on these time savings, we estimated that clean fuel use could result in a 3.8% or 4.7% increase in daily income, respectively, not including time or costs for fuel procurement. Clean fuel interventions could save users time and money. Few studies have evaluated this potential benefit, suggesting that prospective studies or randomized controlled trials are needed to adequately measure gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2277
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019



  • Air pollution
  • Biomass
  • Cooking
  • Stoves
  • Time
  • Wage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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