TitlePersonal and household PM and black carbon exposure measures and respiratory symptoms in 8 low- and middle-income countries.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsWang, Y, Shupler, M, Birch, A, Chu, YLi, Jeronimo, M, Rangarajan, S, Mustaha, M, Heenan, L, Seron, P, Saavedra, N, Oliveros, MJose, Lopez-Jaramillo, P, Camacho, PA, Otero, J, Perez-Mayorga, M, Yeates, K, West, N, Ncube, T, Ncube, B, Chifamba, J, Yusuf, R, Khan, A, Liu, Z, Cheng, X, Wei, L, Tse, LA, Mohan, D, Kumar, P, Gupta, R, Mohan, I, Jayachitra, KG, Mony, PK, Rammohan, K, Nair, S, Lakshmi, PVM, Sagar, V, Khawaja, R, Iqbal, R, Kazmi, K, Yusuf, S, Brauer, M, Hystad, P
Corporate AuthorsPURE-AIR study investigators
JournalEnviron Res
Date Published05/2022


  • Multi-country study of measured personal and household air pollution.
  • Measured air pollution exposure associated with respiratory symptoms.
  • Household measures more strongly associated than personal measures.
  • PM2.5 measures more strongly associated than black carbon measures.
  • Larger associations for female compared to male individuals.


BACKGROUND: Household air pollution (HAP) from cooking with solid fuels has been associated with adverse respiratory effects, but most studies use surveys of fuel use to define HAP exposure, rather than on actual air pollution exposure measurements.

OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between household and personal fine particulate matter (PM) and black carbon (BC) measures and respiratory symptoms.

METHODS: As part of the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology Air Pollution study, we analyzed 48-h household and personal PM and BC measurements for 870 individuals using different cooking fuels from 62 communities in 8 countries (Bangladesh, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe). Self-reported respiratory symptoms were collected after monitoring. Associations between PM and BC exposures and respiratory symptoms were examined using logistic regression models, controlling for individual, household, and community covariates.

RESULTS: The median (interquartile range) of household and personal PM was 73.5 (119.1) and 65.3 (91.5) μg/m, and for household and personal BC was 3.4 (8.3) and 2.5 (4.9) x10 m, respectively. We observed associations between household PM and wheeze (OR: 1.25; 95%CI: 1.07, 1.46), cough (OR: 1.22; 95%CI: 1.06, 1.39), and sputum (OR: 1.26; 95%CI: 1.10, 1.44), as well as exposure to household BC and wheeze (OR: 1.20; 95%CI: 1.03, 1.39) and sputum (OR: 1.20; 95%CI: 1.05, 1.36), per IQR increase. We observed associations between personal PM and wheeze (OR: 1.23; 95%CI: 1.00, 1.50) and sputum (OR: 1.19; 95%CI: 1.00, 1.41). For household PM and BC, associations were generally stronger for females compared to males. Models using an indicator variable of solid versus clean fuels resulted in larger OR estimates with less precision.

CONCLUSIONS: We used measurements of household and personal air pollution for individuals using different cooking fuels and documented strong associations with respiratory symptoms.

Alternate JournalEnviron Res
PubMed ID35526584