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Sources of household air pollution and their association with fine particulate matter in low-income urban homes in India



Household air pollution (HAP) is poorly characterized in low-income urban Indian communities.

Materials and methods

A questionnaire assessing sources of HAP and 24 h household concentrations of particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) were collected in a sample of low-income homes in Pune, India.


In 166 homes, the median 24 h average concentration of PM2.5 was 167 μg/m3 (IQR: 106–294). Although kerosene and wood use were highly prevalent (22% and 25% of homes, respectively), primarily as secondary fuel sources, high PM2.5 concentrations were also found in 95 (57%) homes reporting LPG use alone (mean 141 μg/m3; IQR: 92–209). In adjusted linear regression, log PM2.5 concentration was positively associated with wood cooking fuel (GMR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1–2.0), mosquito coils (GMR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1–2.1), and winter season (GMR 1.7, 95% CI: 1.4–2.2). Households in the highest quartile of exposure were positively associated with wood cooking fuel (OR 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1–1.5), incense (OR 1.1, 95% CI: 1.0–1.3), mosquito coils (OR 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1–1.6), and winter season (OR 1.2, 95% CI: 1.1–1.4).


We observed high concentrations of PM2.5 and identified associated determinants in urban Indian homes.

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The authors would like to thank the study participants and their families for volunteering their time and opening their homes to us. Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01AI097494, and by the Fogarty International Center, Office of AIDS Research, National Cancer Center, National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, and the NIH office of Research for Women’s Health through the Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program Consortium comprised of the University of North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, Morehouse and Tulane under award number R25TW009340. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Data in this manuscript were also collected as part of the Regional Prospective Observational Research for Tuberculosis (RePORT) India Consortium. This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Government of India’s (GOI) Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Office of AIDS Research (OAR), and distributed in part by CRDF Global. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the DBT, the ICMR, the NIH, or CRDF Global. Any mention of trade names, commercial projects, or organizations does not imply endorsement by any of the sponsoring organizations. Research reported in this manuscript was also supported by the Ujala Foundation and the Gilead Foundation. Dr. Aarti Kinikar was supported by the Fogarty International Center BJGMC JHU HIV TB Program D43TW009574.

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Correspondence to Jessica L. Elf.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Elf, J.L., Kinikar, A., Khadse, S. et al. Sources of household air pollution and their association with fine particulate matter in low-income urban homes in India. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 28, 400–410 (2018).

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Key Words

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Epidemiology
  • Particulate matter
  • Household air pollution
  • Low- and middle income country (LMIC)

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