Indoor Air Pollution Related Respiratory Ill Health, a Sequel of Biomass Use
Introduction: Climate change may worsen existing indoor air problems and create new problems by altering outdoor conditions that affect indoor conditions. Since climate change is due to both natural variability and human-induced contributions, public health professionals through their expertise in health promotion and behavior change can play a vital role in promoting lifestyle choices that will decrease greenhouse gas emissions. This study, therefore, aims at presenting the health effects of indoor air pollutants from biomass use. Methods: A cross sectional study involving 1,170 consenting women was conducted in Masaiti and Ndola districts of Zambia. Data collection tools included a structured questionnaire; foobot (indoor air quality monitoring device) and spirometer (lung function test device). Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16 and analyses were done at Univariate, bivariate and multivariate level at 5% statistical significant level. Results: Population using biomass as cooking fuel was 69.2%. Indoor particulate (PM2.5) overall median (Q1, Q2) distribution during cooking period was 501(411, 686) μg/m3 and daily average was 393(303,578) μg/m3 while VOC daily average was 343(320, 363) ppb. The proportion of women with respiratory symptoms and impaired lung functions was higher in households with high levels of indoor pollutants. There was a statistically significant association between mean indoor particulate concentration levels and the number of maternal respiratory symptoms. There was a significant association between indoor VOC and forced vital capacity (p=0.011). Conclusion: The results contribute to the growing evidence regarding the effect of biomass use on indoor air quality and consequent adverse respiratory health outcomes.
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