ATS Foundation has awarded $5,000 to Herve Lawin, MD, of the University of Abomey in the Republic of Benin, Africa, to support his research investigating the effects of biomass fuel use in rural and urban homes on respiratory symptoms and lung function.

Exposure to household air pollution is highly hazardous to health, especially respiratory health, where exposure almost doubles the risk for childhood pneumonia and contributes to illnesses such as COPD and lung cancer, which cause the premature deaths of over 4.3 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization. Exposure to household air pollution is common in developing countries where biomass is used for cooking.

Data on the specific, measurable effects on respiratory health is relatively unexplored. Dr. Lawin hopes to fill in this research gap by using spirometry, carbon monoxide (CO) and PM 2.5 (fine particle) testing in the household, and interviews in households in Benin.

“The results of this study could provide more specific information on the relationship between the exposure level to biomass fuels and respiratory health disorders,” Dr. Lawin says. “Understanding more about this relationship can lead to the development of strategies to tackle this major public health and socio-environmental issue.”

The ATS Foundation ( fully funded Dr. Lawin’s grant. The ATS Foundation has supported over $11 million in grants to over 183 early career investigators conducting research in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. These investigators have gone on to secure over $143 million in major grants. To inquire about other grant opportunities, or to find out how your organization can contribute to research, please visit:

Share the Post:

Related Posts