Indoor Air Quality and Health Outcomes in Langui, Peru
LUPITA D. MONTOYA (1), Ursula Harman (2), Robert A. Canales (3)
(1) University of Colorado at Boulder (2) Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, Lima, Peru (3) The New School University, New York City, NY USA
Abstract Number: 418
Preference: No preference
Last modified: November 10, 2009
Working Group: sq3
In approximately 50% of the world’s population (primarily in the developing world), biomass fuels (e.g., wood, agricultural waste, dung) and coal are the primary source of energy in household cooking and heating systems (Smith et al., 2004). Emissions from open fires or inefficient stoves contain substantial amounts of health damaging pollutants including particulate matter (PM), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide (CO). In addition, rural households have limited or no ventilation and exposures of women and young children to these pollutants have been measured to be many times higher than World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines and national standards (Smith, 1987). The magnitude of exposure to these pollutants may vary by the type of fuel, type of stove, cooking habits, ventilation, and house structure, as well as individual characteristics such as age and behavioral activities. Although several studies have explored indoor exposure in rural China, India, and Africa, indoor air pollution in South America has received relatively little attention. Rural Andean areas of Peru are among the many communities in the American continent using biomass fuels; however, they are one of the very few still using dung, the “dirtiest” of the biofuels, for cooking and heating.
A pilot study was conducted to determine the levels of particulate matter (PM10) and black carbon in the small town of Langui, in the Canas province within the Andean region of Peru. An additional study explored health outcomes (respiratory disease) in this population. The majority of families in this region use their traditional stoves not only for cooking but also for heating purposes. Because of their limited access to heating, 56% of the families in the region use the kitchen as a sleeping area and in 70% of those households more than half of the members are exposed to direct emissions from these stoves. In this study, 96% of the Langui sample reported respiratory illnesses such as colds with cough and fever. This study also found that 25% of adults had colds 4 times a year, while 50% of teens had colds from 3 to 4 times a year and children under five had colds every month. This study seeks to report levels of indoor pollutants within homes in Langui, estimate levels of exposure to these pollutants, and explore relationships between pollutant levels and reported health outcomes.
Smith K.R., 1987. Biofuels, Air Pollution, and Health: A Global Review, New York, Plenum.
Smith K.R., Mehta S. and Maeusezahl-Feuz M., 2004. Indoor air pollution from household solid fuel use. In: L.A. Ezzati M, Rodgers A, Murray C.J.L,. (Editor), Comparative Quantification of Health Risks: Global and Regional Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Major Risk Factors. World Health Organization, Geneva, pp. 1435-1493.