PILOT STUDY OF HOUSEHOLD PARTICLE MONITORING FOR THE INDIAN NATIONAL SURVEY: PLANS, PROTOCOLS, AND PROGRESS

Kyra Naumoff1, Zohir Chowdhury1, R. Edwards1,2, Rajarathnam Uma3, R. Vanneman4, K. Balakrishnan 5, K.R. Smith1 1University of California at Berkeley, 2University of California at Irvine, 3The Energy Research Institute, New Delh, 4University of Maryland, College Park 5Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute, Chennai.

ABSTRACT

Though almost 50% of the world’s population relies on solid fuels for cooking and heating needs, accurate estimation of health risks due to indoor air pollution (IAP) from solid fuels has been hindered by a paucity of quantitative exposure information. Well-designed probabilistically weighted household sample surveys of sufficient size afford the most accurate exposure estimates for the population as a whole. Such datasets allow for the comparisons of risk factors with statistical adjustment for confounding variables; facilitate comparisons between regions; and are useful for national priority setting. Large-scale household surveys, however, have never incorporated the required physical pollution measurements due to cost and logistical complexity in field conditions, and thus have had to rely on questionnaires alone to determine the presence of factors, such as fuel, stove, and kitchen types, known to be related to IAP. This is of significant concern with respect to IAP because reliance on unvalidated proxies may lead to significant exposure misclassification, especially across many socio-economic conditions, agro-climatic zones, and seasons. The goal of this study, funded by the Fogarty International Center’s Health, Environment, and Economic Development Program, is to pilot methods and equipment to monitor IAP resulting from household fuel use in 600 urban and rural Indian households using a newly developed low-cost data-logging particle (PM) monitor, the UCB PM Monitor. Household monitoring will take place in Fall 2004 within the states of Uttarranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. PM will be continuously monitored for 24 hours using the new monitor and compared against standard integrated gravimetric methods using pumps, filters, and cyclones. Carbon monoxide dosimeter tubes will also be deployed and investigated as a low cost PM proxy and as a means of measuring personal exposures. This study will allow further improvement in understanding of the accuracy of questionnaire data (fuel, stove, and kitchen types, for example) in models previously developed from household measurements done in Andhra Pradesh to predict exposures. Along with the water quality and other environmental and health measurements being piloted, the results will be evaluated for possible inclusion of these measurements in a large national household sample survey scheduled to begin in 2005 in order to understand the national distribution of household IAP at the district level.











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