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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Mar;76(3):585-91.

Use of biomass fuel is associated with infant mortality and child health in trend analysis.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.


Biomass fuel used for cooking results in widespread exposure to indoor air pollution (IAP), affecting nearly 3 billion people throughout the world. Few studies, however, have tested for an exposure-response relationship between biomass fuel and health outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between biomass fuel, infant mortality, and children's respiratory symptoms. Eighty households in a rural community in Ecuador were selected based on their use of biomass fuel and questioned regarding a history of infant mortality and children's respiratory symptoms. Carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM) were measured in a subset of these homes to confirm the relationship between biomass fuel use and IAP. Results showed a significant trend for higher infant mortality among households that cooked with a greater proportion of biomass fuel (P=0.008). Similar trends were noted for history of cough (P=0.02) and earache (P<0.001) among children living in these households.

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