Africa, May 18 -- Four in five Africans - mostly women and girls - cook their food over open fires and primitive stoves that are powered by polluting fuels such as wood, charcoal, kerosene and animal waste.

Three-quarters of people rely on these smoky, rudimentary cooking systems for their meals. Much of the time they're used inside small and enclosed spaces.

Among the harmful toxins released: carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter.

The result, according to the World Bank, is the premature deaths of about 600,000 Africans a year - making dirty cooking an even bigger killer than malaria.

Then there are the hundreds of billions of euros in associated health and climate impacts, including increased carbon emissio...