Quantifying the Effects of Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution from Biomass Combustion on Acute Respiratory Infections in Developing Countries
Majid Ezzati and Daniel Kammen, UC Berkeley, Environmental Health Perspectives Vol 109 No 5 May 2001
Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are the leading cause of burden of disease worldwide and have been causally linked with exposure to pollutants from domestic biomass fuels in developing countries. We used longitudinal health data coupled with detailed monitoring and estimation of personal exposure from more than 2 years of field measurements in rural Kenya to estimate the exposure–response relationship for particulates < 10 μm diameter (PM10) generated from biomass combustion. Acute respiratory infections and acute lower respiratory infections are concave, increasing functions of average daily exposure to PM10, with the rate of increase declining for
exposures above approximately 1,000–2,000 μg/m3. This first estimation of the exposure–response relationship for the high-exposure levels characteristic of developing countries has immediate and important consequences for international public health policies, energy and combustion research, and technology transfer efforts that affect more than 2 billion people worldwide.
Key words: acute respiratory infections, Africa, biomass combustion, developing countries, exposure–response relationship, field study, indoor air pollution, particulate matter, public health.
Environ Health Perspect 109:481–488 (2001). [Online 4 May 2001]
Environmental Health Perspectives • VOLUME 109 | NUMBER 5 | May 2001