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Environ Health Perspect. 2001 May; 109(5): 481–488.
PMCID: PMC1240307
Research Article

Quantifying the effects of exposure to indoor air pollution from biomass combustion on acute respiratory infections in developing countries.


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 microm diameter (PM(10)) generated from biomass combustion. Acute respiratory infections and acute lower respiratory infections are concave, increasing functions of average daily exposure to PM(10), with the rate of increase declining for exposures above approximately 1,000-2,000 microg/m(3). 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.

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Selected References

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