Nevin Manimala Statistics

Assessing household fine particulate matter (PM2.5) through measurement and modeling in the Bangladesh cook stove pregnancy cohort study (CSPCS)

Environ Pollut. 2023 Sep 15:122568. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.122568. Online ahead of print.


Biomass fuel burning is a significant contributor of household fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the low to middle income countries (LMIC) and assessing PM2.5 levels is essential to investigate exposure-related health effects such as pregnancy outcomes and acute lower respiratory infection in infants. However, measuring household PM2.5 requires significant investments of labor, resources, and time, which limits the ability to conduct health effects studies. It is therefore imperative to leverage lower-cost measurement techniques to develop exposure models coupled with survey information about housing characteristics. Between April 2017 and March 2018, we continuously sampled PM2.5 in three seasonal waves for approximately 48-h (range 46 to 52-h) in 74 rural and semi-urban households among the participants of the Bangladesh Cook Stove Pregnancy Cohort Study (CSPCS). Measurements were taken simultaneously in the kitchen, bedroom, and open space within the household. Structured questionnaires captured household-level information related to the sources of air pollution. With data from two waves, we fit multivariate mixed effect models to estimate 24-h average, cooking time average, daytime and nighttime average PM2.5 in each of the household locations. Households using biomass cookstoves had significantly higher PM2.5 concentrations than those using electricity/liquefied petroleum gas (626 μg/m3 vs. 213 μg/m3). Exposure model performances showed 10-fold cross validated R2 ranging from 0.52 to 0.76 with excellent agreement in independent tests against measured PM2.5 from the third wave of monitoring and ambient PM2.5 from a separate satellite-based model (correlation coefficient, r = 0.82). Significant predictors of household PM2.5 included ambient PM2.5, season, and types of fuel used for cooking. This study demonstrates that we can predict household PM2.5 with moderate to high confidence using ambient PM2.5 and household characteristics. Our results present a framework for estimating household PM2.5 exposures in LMICs, which are often understudied and underrepresented due to resource limitations.

PMID:37717899 | DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2023.122568

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