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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019 Jun 28. doi: 10.1038/s41370-019-0151-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Residential wood stove use and indoor exposure to PM2.5 and its components in Northern New England.

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Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME, USA.
Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Portland, ME, USA.
Division of Chronic Disease Research across the Lifecourse, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA, USA.
Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep, and Critical Care Medicine Section, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA.
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Research and Development Service, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Geography, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.
Department of Epidemiology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, USA.
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, USA.



Residential wood stove use has become more prevalent in high-income countries, but only limited data exist on indoor exposure to PM2.5 and its components.


From 2014 to 2016, we collected 7-day indoor air samples in 137 homes of pregnant women in Northern New England, using a micro-environmental monitor. We examined associations of wood stove use with PM2.5 mass and its components [black carbon (BC), organic and elemental carbon and their fractions, and trace elements], adjusted for sampling season, community wood stove use, and indoor activities. We examined impact of stove age, EPA-certification, and wood moisture on indoor pollutants.


Median (IQR) household PM2.5 was 6.65 (5.02) µg/m3 and BC was 0.23 (0.20) µg/m3. Thirty percent of homes used a wood stove during monitoring. In homes with versus without a stove, PM2.5 was 20.6% higher [although 95% confidence intervals (-10.6, 62.6) included the null] and BC was 61.5% higher (95% CI: 11.6, 133.6). Elemental carbon (total and fractions 3 and 4), potassium, calcium, and chloride were also higher in homes with a stove. Older stoves, non-EPA-certified stoves, and wet or mixed (versus dry) wood were associated with higher pollutant concentrations, especially BC.


Homes with wood stoves, particularly those that were older and non-EPA-certified or burning wet wood had higher concentrations of indoor air combustion-related pollutants.


Black carbon; Indoor air pollution; Organic carbon; PM2.5; Trace elements; Wood stove use


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