biofuel smoke and anemia and stunting in early childhood

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

biofuel smoke and anemia and stunting in early childhood

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:22 pm

Does biofuel smoke contribute to anaemia and stunting in early childhood?

Mishra, et al

Background Reliance on biomass fuels for cooking and heating exposes many women and young children in developing countries to high levels of air pollution indoors. Exposure to biomass smoke has been linked to reduced birth weight, acute respiratory infections, and childhood mortality. This study examines the association between household use of biofuels (wood, dung, and crop residues) for cooking and heating and prevalence of anaemia and stunting in children.

Methods Data are from a 1998–99 national family health survey in India, which measured height, weight, and blood haemoglobin of 29 768 children aged 0–35 months in 92 486 households. Multinomial logistic regression is used to estimate the effects of biofuel use on prevalence of anaemia and stunting, controlling for exposure to tobacco smoke, recent episodes of illness, maternal education and nutrition, and other potentially confounding factors.

Results Analysis shows that prevalence of moderate-to-severe anaemia was significantly higher among children in households using biofuels than among children in households using cleaner fuels (RRR = 1.58; 95% CI: 1.28, 1.94), independent of other factors. Prevalence of severe stunting was also significantly higher among children in biofuel-using households (RRR = 1.84; 95% CI: 1.44, 2.36). Thirty-one per cent of moderate-to-severe anaemia and 37% of severe stunting among children aged 6–35 months in India may be attributable to exposure to biofuel smoke. Effects on mild anaemia and moderate stunting were smaller, but positive and statistically significant. Effects of exposure to tobacco smoke on anaemia and stunting were small and not significant.

Conclusions The study provides a first evidence of the strong association between biofuel use and risks of anaemia and stunting in children, suggesting that exposure to biofuel smoke may contribute to chronic nutritional deficiencies in young children.
• 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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