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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 69-73

A study of environmental exposure from cooking fuel use and role of intervention

1 Department of Occupational Medicine, Regional Occupational Health Centre (Eastern), Salt Lake, Kolkata, India
2 Department of Environmental Hygiene, Regional Occupational Health Centre (Eastern), Salt Lake, Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Asim Saha
Department of Occupational Medicine, Regional Occupational Health Centre (Eastern), Block - DP, Sector - V, Salt Lake, Kolkata - 700 091
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ed.ed_13_18

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Background: Combustion of traditional biomass fuels and coal has been found to be associated with exposure to particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and cause a series of adverse health effects. Characterization-quantification of such exposure achieved so far is not optimum, and establishment of a protective mechanism with proven efficacy is the urgent need. Methods: The present study was planned to characterize exposure from fuel during cooking in a village of India and understand the effect of using intervention measure. In this study, exposure to different pollutants was examined by personal monitoring in different cooking arrangements with traditional and modified oven. Results: It is observed that level of the pollutants has lessened by several folds while cooking with modified oven in comparison to unmodified oven. Such change of pollutants levels with the use of modified oven was found to be statistically significant in cases of benzene (P < 0.001), toluene (P < 0.01), and particulates (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: This study highlights the exposure from indoor air pollution during cooking and promotes use of low-cost protective mechanisms to curb resulting human health adversities. This study also calls for concerted awareness generation activity among the rural population (especially women) regarding adverse health effect of cooking fuels and protective effect of installed mechanisms.

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