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Indoor Air Pollution Biggest Health Threat

by Medindia Content Team on  May 4, 2007 at 4:16 PM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
Indoor Air Pollution Biggest Health Threat
The WHO in its latest study has indicated that the culprit to most health threat is the indoor air pollution caused by solid fuels used for cooking and heating. According to the UN 5% of the preventable deaths and diseases are caused by the indoor air pollution.
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This study is based on a new estimate done in each country.

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Indoor air pollution is the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of air in the indoor environment within a home, building, or an institution or commercial facility. In developed countries due to energy efficiency improvements the houses are airtight without much ventilation. This increases the pollution level.

In the rural areas some 3.5 billion people still depend on traditional fuels such as firewood, charcoal, cow dung etc for cooking and heating. This produces a large amount of smoke and other air pollutant within the confines of the home resulting in high exposure. It is mainly the women and children who are mainly affected by his.

Exposure to the pollutants lead many kinds of diseases like pneumonia in children and chronic respiratory problems in adults Tobacco smoke is a major pollutant. Passive smoking causes burning eyes, nose, and throat irritation, bronchitis, severe asthma, decrease in lung function and even cancer in children and adult alike.

Solutions are available, and it is our international responsibility to promote the health and well-being of those affected., and the prevention potential is enormous' said Susanne Weber-Mosdorf, WHO's Assistant Director-General for Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments.

The WHO estimates 1.5 billion deaths each year due to diseases caused by the indoor pollution.

In order to prevent such diseases solid fuels needs to be replaced with much cleaner, efficient fuels. Biogas, LPG, Kerosene are some of the cleaner fuel that could be used to reduce the air pollution.

Source: Medindia
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