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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2000 Jul;73(5):331-8.

Indoor exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in traditional houses in Burundi.

Author information

1
Département de médecine du travail et d'hygiène du milieu, Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada. claude.viau@umontreal.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Wood combustion is used as a major energy source in African countries and could result in indoor, pollution-related health problems. This exploratory study was undertaken to estimate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and carbon monoxide exposure in individuals living in traditional rural houses in Burundi.

METHODS:

Standard methods were used to determine indoor air concentrations of 12 PAHs, and carbon monoxide. The urinary excretion of 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) was measured in occupants of traditional houses, and compared with that of individuals living in the town of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.

RESULTS:

Mean airborne concentration of four volatile PAHs, naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene and acenaphthene, exceeded 1 microg/m3, and that of benzo(a)pyrene was 0.07 microg/m3. Naphthalene was by far the main PAH contaminant, with a mean concentration (+/- standard deviation) of 28.7+/-23.4 microg/m3, representing on average 60-70% of total PAH concentration. Carbon monoxide mean concentration (+/- standard deviation) was 42+/-31 mg/m3, and correlated with total PAH concentration. Geometric mean urinary 1-OHP excretion (range) in people living in traditional houses was 1.50 (0.26-15.62) micromol/mol creatinine, a value which is on average 30 times higher than that of people living in the capital (0.05 (0.009-0.17) micromol/mol creatinine).

CONCLUSIONS:

It appears that the substantially high concentrations of the studied contaminants constitute a potential health hazard to the rural population of Burundi.

PMID:
10963417
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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