Author(s): Razia Sultana1, Raghu B. P2, Shashidhar Buggi3
BACKGROUND Air pollution is generally perceived as an urban problem associated with automobiles and industries. However, half of the world’s population in rural areas of the developing countries is exposed to some of the highest levels of air pollution due to burning of traditional biomass fuels. In view of this, the health impact of biomass fuel use in rural India has been evaluated in this study.
OBJECTIVES To analyse the mass concentration in biomass fuel user and LPG user household and to investigate the effects of biomass smoke exposure in a group of rural women who cook regularly with biomass fuels and compare the results obtained from control group women who cook relatively cleaner fuel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). METHODS Respiratory health was evaluated from Questionnaire survey, Clinical examination, haematology, sputum cytology culture and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are investigated in biomass and control users.
RESULTS A total of 150 women were approached, of which only 70 non-smoking women without any history of any major chronic illness in the past were selected for this study. CRP levels differ significantly in biomass exposure than control users.
CONCLUSION From our study it is clear that with increasing duration of exposure to biomass fuel combustion. Women who used to cook with traditional biomass fuels had low haemoglobin & Red Blood Cells values, increased neutrophil and allergic manifestations. Sputum cytology of majority biomass users revealed bacterial infections & chronic inflammation.