A rural community intervention targeting biomass combustion

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

A rural community intervention targeting biomass combustion

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:45 pm

A rural community intervention targeting biomass combustion sources:
effects on air quality and reporting of children's respiratory outcomes
Noonan et al


Objective Improvements in urban air quality are largely driven by controls on industrial and mobile source emissions, but such factors may have limited influence on many rural environments where biomass combustion (eg, wood stoves) serves as the primary source of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). The authors tracked changes in children's respiratory health during a wood stove intervention in a rural mountain valley community heavily impacted by wood smoke-derived PM2.5.

Methods Community-wide impacts on children's health were assessed by prospectively collecting surveys from parents of school children during four winter periods in Libby, Montana. Generalised estimating equations with a logit link were used to estimate the effect of reduction in ambient PM2.5 on wheeze prevalence and other reported symptoms and infections.

Results Over 1100 wood stoves were replaced with new lower emission wood stoves or other heating sources. Ambient PM2.5 was 27.6% lower in the winters following the changeout programme compared with baseline winters. There was a 26.7% (95% CI 3.0% to 44.6%) reduced odds of reported wheeze for a 5 μg/m3 decrease in average winter PM2.5. Lower ambient PM2.5 was also associated with reduced odds for reported respiratory infections, including cold (25.4% (95% CI 7.6% to 39.7%)), bronchitis (54.6% (95% CI 24.2% to 72.8%)), influenza (52.3% (95% CI 42.5% to 60.5%)) and throat infection (45.1% (95% CI 29.0% to 57.6%)).

Conclusion This wood stove intervention provided a unique opportunity to prospectively observe health benefits resulting from a targeted air pollution reduction strategy in a rural community.
• 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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