Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health
ISSN (Print): 2334-3397 ISSN (Online): 2334-3494 Website: Editor-in-chief: Dibyendu Banerjee
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Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. 2018, 6(2), 62-67
DOI: 10.12691/jephh-6-2-3
Open AccessArticle

Study of Indoor PM2.5 and Volatile Organic Compounds Concentration in Selected Rural and Urban Areas of Zambia

David Mulenga1, , Hebert Tato Nyirenda1, Prispa Mwila1, Chibangula M. Chileshe1 and Seter Siziya1

1Clinical Medical Sciences, Copperbelt University - Michael Chilufya Sata School of Medicine, Ndola, Zambia

Pub. Date: March 28, 2018

Cite this paper:
David Mulenga, Hebert Tato Nyirenda, Prispa Mwila, Chibangula M. Chileshe and Seter Siziya. Study of Indoor PM2.5 and Volatile Organic Compounds Concentration in Selected Rural and Urban Areas of Zambia. Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. 2018; 6(2):62-67. doi: 10.12691/jephh-6-2-3


Background: High levels of household air pollution (HAP) occur in houses of many developing countries due to combustion of biomass fuels (wood, charcoal, cow dung, crop residues) in the households in open fires or inefficient stoves. Particulate Matter (PM2.5) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are among the significant pollutants that are generated and can adversely affect the health of the exposed. Therefore, we monitored PM2.5 and VOC in selected rural and urban areas of the Copperbelt province of Zambia in order to measure the magnitude and correlates of HAP concentration levels. Methods: Indoor PM2.5 particles <2.5 µg in diameter (PM2.5) and VOCs were measured in 1,170 dwelling houses using Foobot (Model: FBT0002100 FCC ID: 2ADTK-FBT0002100, China). A standard questionnaire to capture the background and cooking characteristics such as kitchen type, fuel type and location of house in relation to ambient air pollution source was used. Data analysis using SPSS version 16 and EPIINFO were used at statistical significance level of 95% confidence interval. Results: Biomass fuel use in our study area was the dominant source of household energy for cooking. Mean indoor PM 2.5 varied greatly between households depending on fuel and kitchen type while the variations in VOC were not that much. Concentration levels for PM2.5 varied between 79 µg/m3 and 921 µg/m3, with an overall mean (SD) for daily average of 444.5 µg/m3 (170.2) while for VOC concentration levels ranged from 245 ppb to 393 ppb with an overall mean (SD) for daily average of 342 ppb (25.3). The median (Q1, Q2) indoor PM2.5 during cooking time was 501(411,686) µg/m3 and daily average 393(303,578) µg/m3 while VOC daily average was 343(320, 363) ppb concentrations in the entire study population. Conclusion: Household air pollution mean concentrations in rural and urban settings of Ndola and Masaiti excessively exceed the WHO guidelines; hence continued efforts through research and advocacy are needed to mitigate the health damaging levels of household air pollution.

household air pollution particulate matter volatile organic compounds biomass

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