High indoor air pollution levels damaging to health
A recent paper by a clinical researcher Duncan Fullerton, has confirmed that Malawi is one of the countries that has high indoor air pollution levels from biomass fuels, which pose a serious threat to health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that air quality should be maintained at not higher than a maximum 24 h average concentration of 25 mg/m3 PM2.5 in order to avoid detrimental health effects but research findings in Malawi show that 80% of homes that were sampled for a study in 2009, had air pollution levels that were four times greater than the WHO level for outdoor air quality.
The study further showed that there are significant differences between air pollution levels from biomass fuel in urban and rural homes, with rural homes showing higher levels through use of wood for cooking, while urban homes have high carbon monoxide concentrations and use charcoal.
“The burden of disease in Malawi that occurs as a result of these exposures is likely to be high [in future] and requires both intervention and further study,” reads part of the paper.
Over 2 billion people rely on biomass fuel as their main source of domestic energy. In Malawi, It is estimated that 95% of people use biomass as their main source of domestic energy.
Malawi is therefore one of the many developing nations that is likely to benefit from appropriate interventions to reduce biomass fuel use and exposure if more conducted.