90% of people residing in rural areas of less-developed countries rely on coal and biomass fuels for heating and cooking, leading to high exposures to the products of incomplete combustion. Three Andean communities within the Santiago de Chuco province of Peru received two different models of improved cookstoves. The impact of these stoves in reducing personal exposures and kitchen concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)) and carbon monoxide (CO) was evaluated separately in 64 homes (32 with each stove model) using air monitoring equipment. In the community receiving stove 1, baseline aggregate 48-h personal exposure (n=27) and kitchen concentrations (n=26) of PM(2.5) were 116.4 and 207.3μg/m(3), respectively, and 48-h personal (n=25) and kitchen (n=25) CO levels were 1.2 and 3.6ppm. After introducing the new stove to this community, those exposures reduced to 68.4 and 84.7μg/m(3), and 0.4 and 0.8ppm, representing reductions of 41.3%, 59.2%, 69.6% and 77.7% respectively. In the two communities receiving stove 2, corresponding levels were 126.3μg/m(3) (n=18), 173.4μg/m(3) (n=19), 0.9ppm (n=19), and 2.6ppm (n=17) before the installation of the stoves, and they reduced to 58.3, 51.1μg/m(3) and 0.6, 1.0ppm. Overall, homes receiving stove 2 saw reductions of 53.8, 70.5, 25.8 and 63.6%. All values are statistically significant (p<0.05) with the exception of personal CO reductions in the stove 2 group. Both stoves markedly reduce both kitchen and personal levels of wood smoke exposure, which we believe has the potential to improve health and quality of life.
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