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Free Content Respiratory health effects of indoor air pollution [Review article]

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Domestic pollution is relevant to health because people spend most of their time indoors. One half of the world's population is exposed to high concentrations of solid fuel smoke (biomass and coal) that are produced by inefficient open fires, mainly in the rural areas of developing countries. Concentrations of particulate matter in kitchens increase to the range of milligrams per cubic meter during cooking. Solid fuel smoke possesses the majority of the toxins found in tobacco smoke and has also been associated with a variety of diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in women, acute respiratory infection in children and lung cancer in women (if exposed to coal smoke). Other tobacco smoke-associated diseases, such as tuberculosis, asthma, respiratory tract cancer and interstitial lung diseases, may also be associated with solid fuel smoke inhalation, but evidence is limited. As the desirable change to clean fuels is unlikely, efforts have been made to use efficient, vented wood or coal stoves, with varied success due to inconsistent acceptance by the community.

Keywords: COPD; acute respiratory infection; biomass smoke; coal smoke; indoor pollution

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Mexico City, Mexico 2: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

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