These cook stoves are present in over 100 million Indian households, and are used two to three times a day, daily.
Some reports, including one by the World Health Organization, claim 300,000 to 400,000 people die of indoor air pollution and carbon monoxide poisoning in India because of biomass burning and use of chullahs.
Also ignored are the reduced life of vehicle engine and higher maintenance costs, particularly if the taxi, auto-rickshaw or truck is being rented for a daily fee.
Adulterated fuel increases tailpipe emissions of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NO) and particulate matter (PM).
The air pollution is also the main cause of the Asian brown cloud which is delaying the start of the monsoon.
Burning of biomass and firewood will not stop unless electricity or clean burning fuel and combustion technologies become reliably available and widely adopted in rural and urban India.
Financial incentives arising from differential taxes are generally the primary cause of fuel adulteration.
In India and other developing countries, gasoline carries a much higher tax than diesel, which in turn is taxed more than kerosene meant as a cooking fuel, while some solvents and lubricants carry little or no tax.
India burns tenfold more fuelwood every year than the United States; the fuelwood quality in India is different from the dry firewood of the United States; and, the Indian stoves in use are less efficient, thereby producing more smoke and air pollutants per kilogram equivalent.
Some Indian taxis and auto-rickshaws run on adulterated fuel blends.