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Household Air Pollution: Sources and Exposure Levels to Fine Particulate Matter in Nairobi Slums

Household Air Pollution: Sources and Exposure Levels to Fine Particulate Matter in Nairobi Slums

Toxics 4(3):

With 2.8 billion biomass users globally, household air pollution remains a public health threat in many low- and middle-income countries. However, little evidence on pollution levels and health effects exists in low-income settings, especially slums. This study assesses the levels and sources of household air pollution in the urban slums of Nairobi. This cross-sectional study was embedded in a prospective cohort of pregnant women living in two slum areas-Korogocho and Viwandani-in Nairobi. Data on fuel and stove types and ventilation use come from 1058 households, while air quality data based on the particulate matters (PM2.5) level were collected in a sub-sample of 72 households using the DustTrak™ II Model 8532 monitor. We measured PM2.5 levels mainly during daytime and using sources of indoor air pollutions. The majority of the households used kerosene (69.7%) as a cooking fuel. In households where air quality was monitored, the mean PM2.5 levels were high and varied widely, especially during the evenings (124.6 µg/m³ SD: 372.7 in Korogocho and 82.2 µg/m³ SD: 249.9 in Viwandani), and in households using charcoal (126.5 µg/m³ SD: 434.7 in Korogocho and 75.7 µg/m³ SD: 323.0 in Viwandani). Overall, the mean PM2.5 levels measured within homes at both sites (Korogocho = 108.9 µg/m³ SD: 371.2; Viwandani = 59.3 µg/m³ SD: 234.1) were high. Residents of the two slums are exposed to high levels of PM2.5 in their homes. We recommend interventions, especially those focusing on clean cookstoves and lighting fuels to mitigate indoor levels of fine particles.

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Accession: 059808848

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PMID: 29051417

DOI: 10.3390/toxics4030012

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