BETHESDA, Md. (April 1, 2013)Almost four million people die each year from household air pollution (HAP) caused by exposure to the combustion of biomass fuels (wood, charcoal, crop residues, and dung), kerosene, or coal. These individuals are among the tens of millions who rely on such products to cook their meals, heat their rooms, and light their homes. Those in lower and middle income countries are among the hardest hit by the effects of HAP exposure, which also causes childhood respiratory infection, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease. Exposure to biomass fuel is associated with low birth weight, asthma, and tuberculosis.
Given these effects, the large populations at risk, and a growing global interest in lower-cost energy sources, researchers from three continents have published a comprehensive overview of the current approaches to HAP assessments, the aims of biomarker development, and the state of development of tests which have the potential for rapid transition from the lab bench to field use. Their findings are addressed in the article, "Household air pollution: a call for studies into biomarkers of exposure and predictors of respiratory disease," which is published online by the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology.
The effort is being led by William J. Martin II, MD, Associate Director for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The team is also comprised of Jamie Rylance, BM BS BMedSci MRCPTM&H, and Stephen Gordon, MA MD FRCP DTM&H, Professor and Chair in Respiratory Medicine, both from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom; Luke P. Naeher, PhD and Olorunfemi Adetona, PhD, both from the University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sc
|Contact: Donna Krupa|
American Physiological Society