Those without electricity in the developing world pay a far higher proportion of their income for illumination than those in wealthy countries when obtaining light with fossil fuels like propane, says a new report by Evan Mills at the Lumina Project. These same populations risk health and safety problems from these lighting fuels. In contrast, beyond the well-known benefits of reducing lighting energy use, costs, and sickening pollution, alternatives based on off-grid electricity from local sources of wind and solar power can yield substantial health and safety benefits and save lives. The report, Health Impacts of fuel-Based Lighting, reviews 85 published reports spanning 27 countries, drawn mostly from the medical literature, which indicates pervasive problems. Fuel-based light is a significant cause of structural fires, severe burn injuries, and dangerous levels of indoor air pollution, and is a primary cause of accidental child poisoning. The inadequate lighting inhibits adequate functioning of medical clinics, increasing mother and infant mortality. Such effects can be greatly reduced when fuels are replaced by electrical LED lighting via electricity produced independently of the national power grids through local solar and wind power energy sources.
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“Health Impacts of Fuel-based Lighting.” http://light.lbl.gov/pubs/tr/lumina-tr10-summary.html