Climate change;Does the uses of Local lamp”Kerosene lanterns ” has health implication and how does it contribute to global warming?


Approximately 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity and rely on kerosene (typically known as paraffin) as a source of lighting in schools, homes and places of work.

Indeed , It is estimated that around a quarter of household income is spent on kerosene; as a result families may not be able to afford other essentials such as school fees and healthy food.Kerosene is a flammable hydrocarbon liquid which is a fire risk, and is also damaging to health and the environment. Inhalation of kerosene vapours or ingestion of the liquid can cause dizziness, headaches and vomiting.Repeated exposure by contact with the skin can cause dermatitis. Serious lung injury, such as pneumonitis, can occur if the liquid kerosene is taken directly into the lungs.

It must be noted that, kerosene lamps produce a black smoke which contributes to indoor pollution leading to eye irritation and respiratory illnesses.

A kerosene lamp (usually called a paraffin lamp in some countries) is a type of lighting device that uses Kerosine (paraffin) as a Fuel. Kerosene lamps have a Wick or mantle as light source, protected by a glass chimney or globe; lamps may be used on a table, or hand-held lantern may be used for portable lighting. Like oil lamps, they are useful for lighting without electricity, such as in regions without Rural electrification , in electrified areas during Power outages, at Campsites, and on Boats

There are three types of kerosene lamp: flat-wick, central-draught (tubular round wick), and mantle lamp. Kerosene lanterns meant for portable use have a flat wick and are made in dead-flame, hot-blast, and cold-blast variants.

Kerosene lamps are widely used for lighting in rural areas of Africa and Asia, where electricity is not distributed or is too costly. Kerosene lamps consume an estimated 77 billion litres of fuel per year, equivalent to 1.3 million barrels of oil per day,comparable to annual U.S. jet-fuel consumption of 76 billion litres per year

Kerosene lamps emit a relatively small portion of global black carbon, but efforts to replace them are comparatively cheap and easy and viable alternative lighting sources exist. Moreover, in addition to mitigating climate change, there are significant health and development co
-benefits to be attained by replacing kerosene lamps with non-fossil fuel-based lighting alternatives. Modern off -grid lighting alternatives include solar light emitting diode (LED) products, solar photovoltaic systems, and mini-grids and are generally safer and healthier than kerosene, and have brighter light, longer product lives, and lower lifecycle costs.

Black carbon is the result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass. Black carbon particles absorb sunlight and heat the atmosphere, increasing radiative forcing and contributing to climate change. Black carbon particles have an intenselypowerful heat-trapping effect,but only remain in the atmosphere for a few weeks, as opposed to carbon dioxide’s (CO2) atmospheric lifetime of hundreds of years.

Black carbon is a major climate warmer, second only to CO2, and together with other pollutants that have a similarly powerful but short-lived warming influence, is known as a ‘short-lived climate pollutant’ (SLCP).The use of kerosene lamps, which is widespread in the developing world, contributes to climate change by emitting the greenhouse gas (GHG)
CO2 in the same way as other types of fossil fuel combustion .However the Lamps additionally emit black carbon, raising the lamps’ contribution to climate change substantially

Transitioning from kerosene lamps to modern lighting alternatives not only offers a climate change mitigation measure, but also provides significant and well-documented health and socioeconomic benefits:
1-Kerosene lamps pose significant health impacts, due both to chronic illness resulting from inhalation of fumes and to risk of injury due to fire. There is evidence that exposure to the lamps, which are used indoors and in close proximity to people, impairs lung function and increases the risk for respiratory disease, cancer, eye problems, and infectious disease, including tuberculosis

2-Kerosene lamps also pose safety and fire risks.Kerosene is highly flammable and there is a high risk of accidents, burns, and even fatalities associated with lamp use.In Nigeria, for instance, thousands of people are maimed each year by lamp explosions, with a 13% fatality rate

In India, 2.5 million people suffer severe burns caused by overturned kerosene lamps each year
3-Poor light quality from kerosene lamps, which are often the sole source of lighting after daylight hours, limits productivity and opportunities for studying or income-generating work.
4-Kerosene lamps are expensive to operate. Kerosene is costly both for low income households that buy it and for governments that subsidize it

In parts of Africa, for instance, kerosene costs make up 10-25% of household monthly budgets– even where the fuel is subsidized. Although kerosene lamps constitute a smaller overall source of black carbon than other major sources, such as diesel engines or industrial coal-burning, they are comparatively cheaper and easier to replace and viable alternative lighting sources already exist. Thus, alternatives to kerosene lighting are an attractive area for achieving quick and cost-effective climate benefits.

Moreover, in addition to mitigating climate change, there are significant health and development co-benefits to be attained by replacing kerosene lamps with non -fossil fuel-based lighting alternatives.


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