Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel

Sean Semple, Delan Devakumar, Duncan G Fullerton, Peter S Thorne, Nervana Metwali, Anthony Costello, Stephen B Gordon, Dharma S Manandhar, Jon Ayres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: About half of the world's population is exposed to smoke from burning biomass fuels at home. The high airborne particulate levels in these homes and the health burden of exposure to this smoke is well described. Burning unprocessed biological material such as wood and dried animal dung may also produce high indoor endotoxin concentrations. This study measured airborne endotoxin levels in homes burning different biomass fuels. Methods: Air sampling was carried out in homes burning wood or dried animal dung in Nepal (n=31) and wood, charcoal or crop residues in Malawi (n=38). Filters were analysed for endotoxin content expressed as airborne endotoxin concentration and endotoxin per mass of airborne particulate. Results: Airborne endotoxin concentrations were high. Averaged over 24h in Malawian homes, median concentrations of total inhalable endotoxin were 24 EU/m3 in charcoal-burning homes and 40 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes. Short cooking-time samples collected in Nepal produced median values of 43 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes and 365 EU/m3 in dung-burning homes suggesting increasing levels with movement down the energy ladder of unprocessed solid fuels. Conclusions: Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuels are orders of magnitude higher than those found in homes in developed countries where endotoxin exposure has been linked to respiratory illness in children. There is a need for work to identify the determinants of these high concentrations, interventions to reduce exposure and health studies to examine the effects of these sustained, near-occupational levels of exposure experienced from early life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-991
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume118
Issue number7
Early online date22 Mar 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Endotoxins
Biomass
Nepal
Charcoal
Smoke
Malawi
Health
Cooking
Occupational Exposure
Developed Countries
Air
Population

Cite this

Semple, S., Devakumar, D., Fullerton, D. G., Thorne, P. S., Metwali, N., Costello, A., ... Ayres, J. (2010). Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel. Environmental Health Perspectives, 118(7), 988-991. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0901605

Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel. / Semple, Sean; Devakumar, Delan; Fullerton, Duncan G; Thorne, Peter S; Metwali, Nervana; Costello, Anthony; Gordon, Stephen B; Manandhar, Dharma S; Ayres, Jon.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 118, No. 7, 2010, p. 988-991.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Semple, S, Devakumar, D, Fullerton, DG, Thorne, PS, Metwali, N, Costello, A, Gordon, SB, Manandhar, DS & Ayres, J 2010, 'Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel', Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 118, no. 7, pp. 988-991. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0901605
Semple S, Devakumar D, Fullerton DG, Thorne PS, Metwali N, Costello A et al. Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010;118(7):988-991. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.0901605
Semple, Sean ; Devakumar, Delan ; Fullerton, Duncan G ; Thorne, Peter S ; Metwali, Nervana ; Costello, Anthony ; Gordon, Stephen B ; Manandhar, Dharma S ; Ayres, Jon. / Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010 ; Vol. 118, No. 7. pp. 988-991.
@article{423426d90ad34c11bc83e73b97b493cb,
title = "Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel",
abstract = "Background: About half of the world's population is exposed to smoke from burning biomass fuels at home. The high airborne particulate levels in these homes and the health burden of exposure to this smoke is well described. Burning unprocessed biological material such as wood and dried animal dung may also produce high indoor endotoxin concentrations. This study measured airborne endotoxin levels in homes burning different biomass fuels. Methods: Air sampling was carried out in homes burning wood or dried animal dung in Nepal (n=31) and wood, charcoal or crop residues in Malawi (n=38). Filters were analysed for endotoxin content expressed as airborne endotoxin concentration and endotoxin per mass of airborne particulate. Results: Airborne endotoxin concentrations were high. Averaged over 24h in Malawian homes, median concentrations of total inhalable endotoxin were 24 EU/m3 in charcoal-burning homes and 40 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes. Short cooking-time samples collected in Nepal produced median values of 43 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes and 365 EU/m3 in dung-burning homes suggesting increasing levels with movement down the energy ladder of unprocessed solid fuels. Conclusions: Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuels are orders of magnitude higher than those found in homes in developed countries where endotoxin exposure has been linked to respiratory illness in children. There is a need for work to identify the determinants of these high concentrations, interventions to reduce exposure and health studies to examine the effects of these sustained, near-occupational levels of exposure experienced from early life.",
author = "Sean Semple and Delan Devakumar and Fullerton, {Duncan G} and Thorne, {Peter S} and Nervana Metwali and Anthony Costello and Gordon, {Stephen B} and Manandhar, {Dharma S} and Jon Ayres",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1289/ehp.0901605",
language = "English",
volume = "118",
pages = "988--991",
journal = "Environmental Health Perspectives",
issn = "0091-6765",
publisher = "Public Health Services, US Dept of Health and Human Services",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuel

AU - Semple, Sean

AU - Devakumar, Delan

AU - Fullerton, Duncan G

AU - Thorne, Peter S

AU - Metwali, Nervana

AU - Costello, Anthony

AU - Gordon, Stephen B

AU - Manandhar, Dharma S

AU - Ayres, Jon

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Background: About half of the world's population is exposed to smoke from burning biomass fuels at home. The high airborne particulate levels in these homes and the health burden of exposure to this smoke is well described. Burning unprocessed biological material such as wood and dried animal dung may also produce high indoor endotoxin concentrations. This study measured airborne endotoxin levels in homes burning different biomass fuels. Methods: Air sampling was carried out in homes burning wood or dried animal dung in Nepal (n=31) and wood, charcoal or crop residues in Malawi (n=38). Filters were analysed for endotoxin content expressed as airborne endotoxin concentration and endotoxin per mass of airborne particulate. Results: Airborne endotoxin concentrations were high. Averaged over 24h in Malawian homes, median concentrations of total inhalable endotoxin were 24 EU/m3 in charcoal-burning homes and 40 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes. Short cooking-time samples collected in Nepal produced median values of 43 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes and 365 EU/m3 in dung-burning homes suggesting increasing levels with movement down the energy ladder of unprocessed solid fuels. Conclusions: Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuels are orders of magnitude higher than those found in homes in developed countries where endotoxin exposure has been linked to respiratory illness in children. There is a need for work to identify the determinants of these high concentrations, interventions to reduce exposure and health studies to examine the effects of these sustained, near-occupational levels of exposure experienced from early life.

AB - Background: About half of the world's population is exposed to smoke from burning biomass fuels at home. The high airborne particulate levels in these homes and the health burden of exposure to this smoke is well described. Burning unprocessed biological material such as wood and dried animal dung may also produce high indoor endotoxin concentrations. This study measured airborne endotoxin levels in homes burning different biomass fuels. Methods: Air sampling was carried out in homes burning wood or dried animal dung in Nepal (n=31) and wood, charcoal or crop residues in Malawi (n=38). Filters were analysed for endotoxin content expressed as airborne endotoxin concentration and endotoxin per mass of airborne particulate. Results: Airborne endotoxin concentrations were high. Averaged over 24h in Malawian homes, median concentrations of total inhalable endotoxin were 24 EU/m3 in charcoal-burning homes and 40 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes. Short cooking-time samples collected in Nepal produced median values of 43 EU/m3 in wood-burning homes and 365 EU/m3 in dung-burning homes suggesting increasing levels with movement down the energy ladder of unprocessed solid fuels. Conclusions: Airborne endotoxin concentrations in homes burning biomass fuels are orders of magnitude higher than those found in homes in developed countries where endotoxin exposure has been linked to respiratory illness in children. There is a need for work to identify the determinants of these high concentrations, interventions to reduce exposure and health studies to examine the effects of these sustained, near-occupational levels of exposure experienced from early life.

U2 - 10.1289/ehp.0901605

DO - 10.1289/ehp.0901605

M3 - Article

C2 - 20308032

VL - 118

SP - 988

EP - 991

JO - Environmental Health Perspectives

JF - Environmental Health Perspectives

SN - 0091-6765

IS - 7

ER -