caring for burns
➤ Small children who
spend much of their
day playing near a
are at greater risk
for colds, coughs,
pneumonia, and lung
➤ Women are at
greater risk for these
health problems than
men, because women
spend more time
breathing smoky air.
Most women spend many hours a day preparing food.This
puts them at risk for health problems caused by cooking fires
Kerosene and other liquid and gas fuels can cause explosions,
fires, and burns. To use these fuels more safely:
• do not let the fuel touch your skin or drip anywhere. If it
does, wash it off right away.
• keep anything that can burn away from the stove. This will
prevent fires from spreading and causing great damage.
Store extra fuel in a safe place away from where you cook
(and do not use matches or cigarettes nearby).
• put the stove where air can move freely around it.
• always be careful when lighting the stove.
Women who cook with fuels that produce a lot of smoke—
such as wood, coal, animal dung, or crop remains—often have
health problems. These fuels cause more problems when they
are burned indoors where the smoke does not move out
quickly. And if the fuel has chemicals in it—such as pesticides or
fertilizers in the crop remains—the smoke is even more harmful.
Breathing smoke from cooking fires can cause chronic coughs,
colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, lung infections, and lung disease.
Breathing coal smoke can also cause cancer in the lungs, mouth,
Pregnant women who breathe cooking smoke can suffer
from dizziness, weakness, nausea, and headaches. And because
a woman’s body is less able to fight infection when she is
pregnant, she is even more likely to get the lung problems
mentioned above. Smoke can also make her baby grow more
slowly, weigh less at birth, or be born too early.
Preventing health problems from smoke
To reduce the amount of smoky air you breathe:
Cook where air can move freely. If you
cannot cook outdoors, then make sure
there are at least 2 openings for air in
the room. This creates a draft, so the
smoke will leave the room.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012