Volume 76, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Biomass fuel used for cooking results in widespread exposure to indoor air pollution (IAP), affecting nearly 3 billion people throughout the world. Few studies, however, have tested for an exposure–response relationship between biomass fuel and health outcomes. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between biomass fuel, infant mortality, and children’s respiratory symptoms. Eighty households in a rural community in Ecuador were selected based on their use of biomass fuel and questioned regarding a history of infant mortality and children’s respiratory symptoms. Carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM) were measured in a subset of these homes to confirm the relationship between biomass fuel use and IAP. Results showed a significant trend for higher infant mortality among households that cooked with a greater proportion of biomass fuel ( = 0.008). Similar trends were noted for history of cough ( = 0.02) and earache ( < 0.001) among children living in these households.


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  • Received : 29 Apr 2006
  • Accepted : 11 Oct 2006

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