© 2021The inefficient and incomplete combustion of solid fuel (SF) is associated with high levels of indoor air pollutants leading to 3.55 million deaths annually. The risk is higher in women and children, due to their higher exposure duration and unique physical properties. The current article aims to provide a critical overview regarding the use of solid fuel, its associated pollutants, their toxicity mechanisms and, most importantly the associated health impacts, especially in women and children. Pollutants associated with SF mostly include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, particulate matter, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, and their concentrations are two- to threefold higher in indoor environments. These pollutants can lead to a variety of health risks by inducing different toxicity mechanisms, such as oxidative stress, DNA methylation, and gene activation. Exposed children have an increased prevalence of low birth weight, acute lower respiratory tract infections, anemia and premature mortality. On the other hand, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular diseases are the major causes of disability and premature death in women. Indoor air pollution resulting from SF combustion is a major public health threat globally. To reduce the risks, it is important to identify future research gaps and implement effective interventions and policies.