Bjorn Lomborg doesn’t know toxicology or medicine, he’s a statistician. He has a Ph D in Political Science.
Although some might applaud Lomborg’s emphasis on indoor pollution in the 3rd world as a toxic air problem, it is his mistake to assert it is an important health problem. I might seem to be cynical or nihilistic, because indoor air pollution in the 3rd world is a bad thing to consider since they burn wood and dung in unventilated housing, but no one has done decent studies on indoor air pollution or outdoor air pollution that really prove toxicity or lethality.
Indoor air pollution claims may be just as unimportant and just as much the result of bad public health epidemiology as the claims of outdoor air pollution.
Sure indoor air quality is worse in many places than outdoor–that’s to be expected. However, no one has any proof that indoor air pollution is killing anyone. Moreover when indoor air pollution is burdensome–people open the windows and air out the place.
However, Lomborg doesn’t understand that we don’t have good toxicology to show that anyone dies of air pollution–indoor or outdoor, just epidemiology studies on outdoor pollution that harvest the variations of death rates and match them up with some monitoring information of the outside air, then assert the deaths mean something when they mean nothing.
As for the claims more recently made about indoor pollution–again, the studies are data mining exercises that are in their infancy–The indoor air studies are pathetically uncontrolled and unconvincing and pretty limited.
The indoor pollution studies may attempt to attribute indoor air pollution to deaths of all kinds, but, just as in outdoor air pollution, we still have no plausible physiological or pathological mechanism of acute or even chronic deaths. Air pollution is handled by the lungs pretty well. Ambient indoor and outdoor air pollution is not toxic and sure isn’t lethal, except in the minds of the charlatans at the EPA and their paid researchers and policy makers.