Turkish Thoracic Journal
Original Article

Household Air Pollution and Respiratory Symptoms of Women and Children in a Suburban Community in Nigeria


Department of Public Health, Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria


Department of Community Health, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Turk Thorac J 2021; 22: 466-472
DOI: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2021.21013
Read: 132 Downloads: 41 Published: 28 October 2021

OBJECTIVE: Globally, the morbidity and mortality caused by exposure to household air pollution from the use of solid fuels remain a significant public health burden. This study assessed the levels of PM2.5 in households using clean and unclean fuels and their associations with the respiratory health of women and children.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Daytime PM2.5 sampling was done in 62 households (31 in each group) in Isiohor, a suburban community in southern Nigeria using Casella CEL-712 Microdust Pro Real-time Dust Monitor. Validated American Thoracic Society questionnaire was used to assess respiratory symptoms.

RESULTS: PM2.5 levels exceeded World Health Organization-recommended limits in most households. The median (range) concentration of PM2.5 was lower in households using clean fuels (26 (14 to 358) μg/m3) than those using unclean fuels (29 (14 to 650) μg/m3). This difference was not statistically significant (P = .272). At least 1 respiratory symptom was reported by women (25.8% vs. 22.6%)
and children (64.5% vs. 77.4%) in household using clean and unclean fuels, respectively. The most commonly reported respiratory symptoms were being woken up by an attack of cough (41.9% vs. 51.6% ) and cough first thing in the morning (16.1% vs 38.7%) for clean and unclean fuels, respectively (P = .046). More children in household using unclean fuel missed school for up to a week because of respiratory illness when compared to those in households using clean fuel, 61.3% vs. 29.0% (P = .011). In the sample as
a whole, burning of candles in the house (22.6%) was associated with respiratory symptoms (Adjusted Odds Ratio = 14.81, 95% CI 1.79 to 122.51) among the women.

CONCLUSION: The use of unclean fuel was associated with higher levels of PM2.5. The household air pollution resulting from the use of unclean fuels and activities like burning of candles in the home may compromise the respiratory health of women and children.

Cite this article as: Aigbokhaode AQ, Isara AR. Household air pollution and respiratory symptoms of women and children in a suburban community in Nigeria. Turk Thorac J. 2021; 22(6): 466-472.

EISSN 2149-2530