The Effect of Biomass Burning on Respiratory Symptoms

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

The Effect of Biomass Burning on Respiratory Symptoms

Postby Wilberforce » Sat May 26, 2012 8:44 pm

The Effect of Biomass Burning on Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function in Rural Mexican Women
Regalado et al ... 0503-479OC
PDF DL ... l.pdf+html
Background: The use of biomass as a cooking fuel is commonplace
in developing countries and has been associated with chronic bronchitis
and obstructive airway disease.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was done in the village of Solis,
close to Mexico City. Lifelong nonsmoking women 38 yr of age or
older (n841) completed a questionnaire on respiratory symptoms
and illnesses and on cooking fuel use, and performed spirometry
in their homes. Particulate matter concentration wasmeasured with
a nephelometer in the kitchen for 1 h,while the subject was cooking.

Results: The peak indoor concentration of particulate matter (PM10,
particles with a diameter of 10 m or less) often exceeded 2 mg/m3.
Compared with those cooking with gas, current use of a stove
burning biomass fuel was associated with increased reporting of
phlegm (27 vs. 9%) and reduced FEV1/FVC (79.9 vs. 82.8%). Levels
of FEV1 were 81 ml lower and cough wasmore common (odds ratio,
1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.0–2.8) in women from homes with
higher PM10 concentrations. All women found with moderate airflow
obstruction (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung
Disease stage II and above) were cooking with biomass stoves.

Conclusion:Womencooking with biomass fuels have increased respiratory
symptoms and a slight average reduction in lung function
compared with those cooking with gas.


Survival of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Due to Biomass Smoke and Tobacco
Ramírez-Venegas, et al ... 0504-568OC
Rationale: Women exposed chronically to biomass develop airflow
limitation, as tobacco smokers do, but their clinical profile and
survival have not been described in detail.

Objective: To determine the clinical profile, survival, and prognostic
factors of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease associated with
biomass exposure and tobacco smoking.

Methods: During a 7-yr period (1996–2003), a consecutive series of
520 patients were recruited and followed up at the COPD Clinic of
the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases. Prognostic factors of
survival were evaluated taking into account the interaction between
sex and exposure.

Measurements: Spirometry, arterial blood gases and oxygen saturation,
body mass index, exercise capacity, and health-related quality
of life were performed at baseline. The main outcome was survival.

Main Results: A total of 481 patients were followed up. The patients
in the biomass group,mainly women (84%), were older and shorter
and had a greater body mass index than those in the tobacco group
(p  0.0001). Airflow obstruction was more severe in smokers
(p  0.001). Quality of life and distance walked showed similar
abnormalities in both groups. In the multivariable Cox regression
analysis including an interaction term exposure-sex, we found that
age (relative risk [RR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02–
1.07), FEV1 as percentage of predicted (RR, 0.96; 95%CI, 0.96–0.99),
body mass index (RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.90–1.01), and oxygen saturation
(RR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.92–0.99) were predictors of mortality but
not exposure or sex.

Conclusions: Women exposed domestically to biomass develop
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with clinical characteristics,
quality of life, and increased mortality similar in degree to that of
tobacco smokers.
• 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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