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Lung India. 2019 Sep-Oct;36(5):376-383. doi: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_477_18.

Impact of biomass fuel exposure from traditional stoves on lung functions in adult women of a rural Indian village.

Author information

University School of Environment Management, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, New Delhi, India.
Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, AlIMS, New Delhi, India.
Department of Neuroanaesthesiology and Neuro Critical Care, AIIMS, New Delhi, India.



Exposure to biomass fuel (BMF) from traditional cookstoves inflicts an enormous burden of morbidities in women across the developing world. This study aims to assess the lung function and its association with the indoor air pollutants generated using BMF.

Materials and Methods:

This cross-sectional study including 310 women was conducted in a rural village of India. Households were divided into two groups based on the cooking fuel, the BMF group and the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) group. Information on respiratory symptoms and socioeconomic status was obtained using a standard questionnaire. Indoor air concentration for PM10and PM2.5was measured during cooking hours. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were conducted for the women inhabitants.


On comparing the two groups, the concentration of PM10(890.26 ± 59.59 vs. 148.66 ± 31.97) μg/m3 and PM2.5(728.90 ± 50.20 vs. 99.76 ± 41.80) μg/m3 (P < 0.01) were higher in the group using BMF. The respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, dyspnea, chronic cough, and nocturnal cough, were significantly more common in the group using BMF. A significant difference was seen in the lung function indices between the two groups. A significant negative correlation of respiratory indices with duration of exposure and the particulate matter (PM) values suggested a greater decline on lung function among women exposed to increased concentrations of PM. On comparing participants with normal and abnormal PFT, it was seen that the use of BMF (odds ratio [OR] 8.01; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.80, 13.36, P < 0.001) and the duration of exposure to BMF (OR 1.16; 95% CI 1.13, 1.20., P < 0.001) increased the odds of having an abnormal PFT.


This study shows a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms and an abnormal pulmonary function in women exposed to BMF.


Biomass fuel; indoor air pollution (IAP); lung function; particulate matter

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