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Health Educ Res. 2004 Oct;19(5):543-50. Epub 2004 Jun 15.

Testing selected behaviors to reduce indoor air pollution exposure in young children.

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  • 1Medical Research Council of South Africa, PO Box 87373, Houghton, 2041 Johannesburg, South Africa.


Indoor air pollution is responsible for the deaths and illness of millions of young children in developing countries. This study investigated the acceptability (willingness to try) and feasibility (ability to perform) of four indoor air pollution reduction behaviors (improve stove maintenance practices, child location practices, ventilation practices and reduce the duration of solid fuel burning). The study further aimed to identify the motivations for and barriers against modifying the behaviors, the perceived impact of the behaviors on children's respiratory health, and families intention to continue with the behaviors. Thirty families in a rural village of South Africa tried out one or more of the behaviors over a 4-week trial period during winter 2002. Improving stove maintenance and reducing the duration of solid fuel burning proved to be very difficult for most families. It is recommended that the main intervention should focus on improving child location and ventilation practices.

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