The Menace Within

Project to review the impact of indoor air pollution

Published: Sunday 30 June 2002

 Home truth: women and childre (Credit: Mark Edwards / Earthscan)To assess the impact of indoor and ambient air exposure on women and children, a unique project has been launched by the Indian Institute of Technology (iit) Kanpur, and the Norwegian Institute of Air Research (nilu), Kjeller, Norway. The study will be particularly directed at women and children belonging to the lower economic strata. Focus of the research will be the daily integrated exposure of these persons to pollutants -- such as particulate matter below 10 microns (pm10) / particulate matter below 2.5 microns (pm2.5), sulphur oxide (so2), nitrogen oxide (no2), carbon monoxide (co), sulphate, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (vocs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pahs). Indoor air pollution is primarily due to the burning of fuel and women and children especially of the lower strata are more prone to it.

The study to be carried in the rural and urban areas of Kanpur will assess a total of 240 ambient air quality samples over a period of two years. The health monitoring will include weekly questionnaire surveys on their activities and health conditions.

Titled, 'indoor and ambient air exposure of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pahs) and fine particulate matter (pm) on women and children: health impacts in terms of mortality and morbidity', the study will be carried out from March 2002 to February 2005.

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