Indoor carbon monoxide and PM2.5 concentrations by cooking fuels in Pakistan

Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California at Davis, CA, USA.
Indoor Air (Impact Factor: 4.9). 12/2008; 19(1):75-82. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2008.00563.x
Source: PubMed


In developing countries biomass combustion is a frequently used source of domestic energy and may cause indoor air pollution. Carbon monoxide (CO)and particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 lm or less (PM2.5)were measured in kitchens using wood or natural gas (NG) in a semi-rural community in Pakistan. Daytime CO and PM2.5 levels were measured for eight continuous hours in 51 wood and 44 NG users from December 2005 to April 2006. The laser photometer PM2.5 (Dustrak, TSI) was calibrated for field conditions and PM2.5 measurements were reduced by a factor of 2.77. CO was measured by an electrochemical monitor (Model T15v, Langan). The arithmetic mean for daytime CO concentration was 29.4 ppm in wood users; significantly higher than 7.5 ppm in NG users (P < 0.001). The arithmetic mean for daytime PM2.5 concentrations was 2.74 mg/m3 in wood users; significantly higher than 0.38 mg/m3 in NG users (P < 0.001). Higher peak levels of CO and PM2.5 were also observed in wood users. Time spent in the kitchen during fuel burning was significantly related to increasing CO and PM2.5 concentrations in wood users.These findings suggest that cooking with wood fuel may lead to hazardous concentrations of CO and PM2.5. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Biomass combustion is frequently used in developing countries for cooking. This study showed very high level of air pollution in kitchens using wood as the cooking fuel. Many people, especially women and children, are vulnerable to exposure to very high levels of air pollutants as they spend time in the kitchen during cooking hours.

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    • "However, there is little information to date on the effectiveness of these measures in reducing exposures to indoor pollutants. Furthermore, while previous studies have quantified the concentrations of indoor PM and CO resulting from the combustion of solid fuels [21-26], few have attempted to identify biomarkers of such exposures. "
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    ABSTRACT: Burning biomass fuels indoors for cooking is associated with high concentrations of particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO). More efficient biomass-burning stoves and chimneys for ventilation have been proposed as solutions to reduce indoor pollution. We sought to quantify indoor PM and CO exposures in urban and rural households and determine factors associated with higher exposures. A secondary objective was to identify chronic vs. acute changes in cardiopulmonary biomarkers associated with exposure to biomass smoke. We conducted a census survey followed by a cross-sectional study of indoor environmental exposures and cardiopulmonary biomarkers in the main household cook in Puno, Peru. We measured 24-hour indoor PM and CO concentrations in 86 households. We also measured PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations gravimetrically for 24 hours in urban households and during cook times in rural households, and generated a calibration equation using PM2.5 measurements. In a census of 4903 households, 93% vs. 16% of rural vs. urban households used an open-fire stove; 22% of rural households had a homemade chimney; and <3% of rural households participated in a national program encouraging installation of a chimney. Median 24-hour indoor PM2.5 and CO concentrations were 130 vs. 22 mug/m3 and 5.8 vs. 0.4 ppm (all p<0.001) in rural vs. urban households. Having a chimney did not significantly reduce median concentrations in 24-hour indoor PM2.5 (119 vs. 137 mug/m3; p=0.40) or CO (4.6 vs. 7.2 ppm; p=0.23) among rural households with and without chimneys. Having a chimney did not significantly reduce median cook-time PM2.5 (360 vs. 298 mug/m3, p=0.45) or cook-time CO concentrations (15.2 vs. 9.4 ppm, p=0.23). Having a thatched roof (p=0.007) and hours spent cooking (p=0.02) were associated with higher 24-hour average PM concentrations. Rural participants had higher median exhaled CO (10 vs. 6 ppm; p=0.01) and exhaled carboxyhemoglobin (1.6% vs. 1.0%; p=0.04) than urban participants. Indoor air concentrations associated with biomass smoke were six-fold greater in rural vs. urban households. Having a homemade chimney did not reduce environmental exposures significantly. Measures of exhaled CO provide useful cardiopulmonary biomarkers for chronic exposure to biomass smoke.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Environmental Health
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    • "at a flow rate of 1 . 7 lit / min , measuring particle load in the concentration range of 1 ␮g to 100 mg / m 3 . The monitor was calibrated to the standard ISO 12103 - 1 A1 test dust . We used two monitors for simultaneous measurement of PM 10 and PM 2 . 5 . The initial photometric data were reduced by correc - tion factor of 2 . 77 for PM 2 . 5 ( Siddiqui et al . , 2009 ) and 2 . 50 for PM 10 ( Chung et al . , 2001 ) to get the final concentrations . Air sampling was done 8 h / day ( 7 . 00 – 15 . 00 h ) covering both cooking and non - cooking times . The mean of 3 days was used as the indoor air quality of a single household . To avoid disturbance in photometer function when relative humidity is high "
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    ABSTRACT: Genotoxicity of indoor air pollution from biomass burning was evaluated in buccal epithelial cells (BECs) of 85 pre-menopausal Indian women who were engaged in cooking with biomass (wood, dung, crop residues) and 76 age-matched control women who were cooking with cleaner fuel liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). DNA damage was evaluated by comet assay and fast halo assay (FHA). The concentrations of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters of less than 10 and 2.5 μm (PM(10) and PM(2.5), respectively) in indoor air were measured by real-time aerosol monitor. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was measured by flow cytometry and the level of superoxide dismutase (SOD) by spectrophotometry. Compared with control, BEC of biomass users illustrated 2.6-times higher comet tail % DNA (32.2 vs. 12.4, p < 0.001), 2.7-times greater comet tail length (37.8 μm vs. 14.2 μm, p < 0.001) and 2.2-times more olive tail moment (7.1 vs. 3.2, p < 0.001), suggesting marked increase in DNA damage. FHA also showed 5-times more mean nuclear diffusion factor (9.2 vs. 1.8, p < 0.0001) in BEC of biomass users, confirming sharp rise in DNA single strand breaks. Airway cells of biomass-using women showed 51% rise in ROS generation but 28% reduction in SOD, suggesting oxidative stress in the airways. Indoor air of biomass-using households had 3-times more PM(10) and PM(2.5) than LPG-using families, and DNA damage showed positive association with PM(10) and PM(2.5) levels controlling education, kitchen location and family income as potential confounders. In summary, chronic inhalation of biomass smoke elicits oxidative stress and extensive DNA damage in BEC.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
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    • "In addition, it was found that the odds of having LBW were 1.7 times among biomass users compared to natural gas users. [25] In Pakistan, poor nutrition and reproductive outcomes in combination with exposure to biomass fuel smoke further aggravates and compounds the effect [15] "
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    ABSTRACT: Biomass fuel burning leads to high levels of suspended particulate matter and hazardous chemicals in the indoor environment in countries where it is in common use, contributing significantly to indoor air pollution (IAP). A situational analysis of household energy and biomass use and associated health effects of IAP was conducted by reviewing published and un-published literature about the situation in Pakistan. In addition to attempt to quantify the burden of ill health due to IAP, this paper also appraises the mitigation measures undertaken to avert the problem in Pakistan. Unfortunately, IAP is still not a recognized environmental hazard in Pakistan and there are no policies and standards to control it at the household level. Only a few original studies related to health effects of IAP have been conducted, mainly on women's health and birth outcome, and only a few governmental, non-governmental and academic institutions are working to improve the IAP situation by introducing improved stoves and renewable energy technology at a small scale. Control of IAP health hazards in Pakistan requires an initial meeting of the stakeholders to define a policy and an action agenda. Simultaneously, studies gathering evidence of impact of intervention through available technologies such as improved stoves would have favorable impact on the health, especially of women and children in Pakistan.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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