Household Air Pollution: Sources and Exposure Levels...

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

Household Air Pollution: Sources and Exposure Levels...

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:30 pm
Household Air Pollution: Sources and Exposure Levels to Fine Particulate Matter in Nairobi Slums

Kanyiva Muindi 1,2,*, Elizabeth Kimani-Murage 1, Thaddaeus Egondi 3, Joacim Rocklov 2 and Nawi Ng 2

Abstract: With 2.8 billion biomass users globally, household air pollution remains a public health
threat in many low- and middle-income countries. However, little evidence on pollution levels and
health effects exists in low-income settings, especially slums. This study assesses the levels and
sources of household air pollution in the urban slums of Nairobi. This cross-sectional study was
embedded in a prospective cohort of pregnant women living in two slum areas—Korogocho and
Viwandani—in Nairobi. Data on fuel and stove types and ventilation use come from 1058 households,
while air quality data based on the particulate matters (PM2.5) level were collected in a sub-sample of
72 households using the DustTrak™II Model 8532 monitor. We measured PM2.5 levels mainly during
daytime and using sources of indoor air pollutions. The majority of the households used kerosene
(69.7%) as a cooking fuel. In households where air quality was monitored, the mean PM2.5 levels
were high and varied widely, especially during the evenings (124.6 g/m3 SD: 372.7 in Korogocho
and 82.2 g/m3 SD: 249.9 in Viwandani), and in households using charcoal (126.5 g/m3 SD: 434.7 in
Korogocho and 75.7 g/m3 SD: 323.0 in Viwandani). Overall, the mean PM2.5 levels measured within
homes at both sites (Korogocho = 108.9 g/m3 SD: 371.2; Viwandani = 59.3 g/m3 SD: 234.1) were
high. Residents of the two slums are exposed to high levels of PM2.5 in their homes. We recommend
interventions, especially those focusing on clean cookstoves and lighting fuels to mitigate indoor
levels of fine particles.
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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