Air quality and acute respiratory illness in biomass fuel using homes in Bagamoyo, Tanzania

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2007 Mar;4(1):39-44. doi: 10.3390/ijerph2007010007.


Respiratory Diseases are public health concern worldwide. The diseases have been associated with air pollution especially indoor air pollution from biomass fuel burning in developing countries. However, researches on pollution levels and on association of respiratory diseases with biomass fuel pollution are limited. A study was therefore undertaken to characterize the levels of pollutants in biomass fuel using homes and examine the association between biomass fuel smoke exposure and Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) disease in Nianjema village in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Pollution was assessed by measuring PM10, NO2, and CO concentrations in kitchen, living room and outdoors. ARI prevalence was assessed by use of questionnaire which gathered health information for all family members under the study. Results showed that PM10, NO2, and CO concentrations were highest in the kitchen and lowest outdoors. Kitchen concentrations were highest in the kitchen located in the living room for all pollutants except CO. Family size didn't have effect on the levels measured in kitchens. Overall ARI prevalence for cooks and children under age 5 making up the exposed group was 54.67% with odds ratio (OR) of 5.5; 95% CI 3.6 to 8.5 when compared with unexposed men and non-regular women cooks. Results of this study suggest an association between respiratory diseases and exposure to domestic biomass fuel smoke, but further studies with improved design are needed to confirm the association.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Biomass*
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Cooking / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Family Characteristics
  • Fossil Fuels* / adverse effects
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / analysis
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Quality Control
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Tanzania


  • Fossil Fuels
  • Particulate Matter
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Nitrogen Dioxide