+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Indoor air pollution from biomass fuels a major health hazard in developing countries

Indoor air pollution from biomass fuels a major health hazard in developing countries

Journal of Public Health 20(6): 565-575

Nearly 3 billion people live without electricity today. This energy poverty means that they have to resort to biomass fuels for their household energy needs. When burned, these fuels release a mixture of toxic chemicals in their smoke, which is often over twenty times greater than World Health Organization (WHO) and Environmental Protection Agency recommended guideline limits. This review details factors that contribute to indoor air pollution, its effects on health, and discusses corrective measures to consider when planning intervention strategies to stem the high morbidity and mortality trend. The term developing countries is defined using the 28 United Nations Conferences on Trade and Development Handbook. PubMed, Google Scholar and Science Direct databases from 199 to 211 were searched using the key terms: indoor air pollution, biomass fuel, particulate matter, health risks, and developing countries. Bibliographies of all relevant articles were also screened to find further eligible articles. Inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed articles and technical reports from global health organizations such as the WHO and United Nations Development Program. Exclusion criteria were articles focused on modern energy, developed countries, and non-English publications. The review discusses the extent of indoor air pollution related to use of biomass for cooking and assesses its impact on various health and social problems, including lung diseases, adverse pregnancy outcomes and human development, especially in vulnerable populations. It also offers strategies to mitigate problems related to indoor air pollution. Biomass fuel is a major cause of indoor air pollution and is a significant health hazard in developing countries. A thorough understanding of the connection between choice of fuel for household needs and health impact of long-term exposure to pollutants from smoke generated during use of biomass for cooking is required so that appropriate intervention strategies and policies can be established to protect vulnerable populations.

Please choose payment method:

(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 036399606

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1007/s10389-012-0511-1

Related references

The health impacts of exposure to indoor air pollution from solid fuels in developing countries: knowledge, gaps, and data needs. Environmental Health Perspectives 110(11): 1057-1068, 2002

Indoor air pollution in developing countries: a major environmental and public health challenge. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78(9): 1078-1092, 2000

Indoor air pollution from biomass fuel smoke is a major health concern in the developing world. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 102(9): 843-851, 2008

Indoor air pollution from unprocessed solid fuels in developing countries. Reviews on Environmental Health 25(3): 221-242, 2010

Indoor air pollution from biomass fuels and respiratory health of the exposed population in Nepalese households. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 11(2): 150-160, 2005

Indoor air pollution as a lung health hazard: focus on populous countries. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine 15(2): 158-164, 2009

Domestic combustion of biomass fuels in developing countries: a major source of atmospheric pollutants. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry 44(1): 23-37, 2003

Air pollution and rural biomass fuels in developing countries a pilot village study in india and implications for research and policy. Atmospheric Environment 17(11): 2343-2362, 1983

Quantifying the effects of exposure to indoor air pollution from biomass combustion on acute respiratory infections in developing countries. Environmental Health Perspectives 109(5): 481-488, 2001

Indoor air pollution and health in developing countries. Lancet 366(9480): 104-106, 2005

International environmental health issues Outdoor and indoor air pollution in developing countries. Journal of Occupational Medicine 35(4): 436, 1993

Behavioural change, indoor air pollution and child respiratory health in developing countries: a review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(5): 4607-4618, 2014

Indoor air pollution in developing countries: research and implementation needs for improvements in global public health. American Journal of Public Health 103(4): E67-E72, 2013

Tears while cooking: an indicator of indoor air pollution and related health effects in developing countries. Environmental Research 75(1): 12-22, 1997

Measuring the exposure of infants and children to indoor air pollution from biomass fuels in The Gambia. Indoor Air 18(4): 317-327, 2008