Citation Information :
Kumar R, Singh K, Nagar S, Kumar M, Mehto UK, Rai G. Pollutant Levels at Cooking Place and Their Association with Respiratory Symptoms in Women in a Rural Area of Delhi-NCR. Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci 2015; 57 (4):225-231.
Background: Household air pollution resulting from biomass and coal stoves is implicated in more than one-third cases of annual deaths from chronic lung diseases worldwide and nearly 3% of lung cancer deaths. This burden is borne largely by poor women in the developing countries. We carried out a study to evaluate its association with respiratory symptoms in women in a rural area.
Methods: The study was carried out using a standard questionnaire, in 92 households including 174 women. The data on respiratory symptoms in women, kitchen type and location in households, type of fuel used for cooking, permanent ventilation in kitchen, presence of exhaust, history of tobacco smoking and indoor pollution level were obtained. Spirometery of participants was conducted. The indoor particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured in each home.
Results: The households were divided into two groups according to the location of the kitchen. In 46 households (Group A) women had a separate room as kitchen for cooking with good ventilation and exhaust conditions; and in the remaining 46 households (Group B) cooking was done in the living area. Seventy (76.1%) households used biomass fuel for cooking and heating (37; 80.4%, in Group A versus 46; 100% in Group B). The proportion of women with respiratory symptoms for one year or more was significantly high in Group B compared to Group A (13.0% versus 3.1% p=0.01). The households which did not have a separate kitchen (Group B) had higher particulate matter and VOCs concentration.
Conclusions: This study contributes to the growing evidence of adverse impact of indoor air pollution from biomass combustion on health of females. Results of the study demonstrated significantly high particulate matter (PM2.5), in households not using a separate room for cooking with biomass fuel.
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