Predominate cooking fuel in majority of developing countries continues to be biomass fuel (agricultural wastes, wood, charcoal, sawdust, wood chip). In most cases, cooking is done on open fires and the incomplete combustion of the fuel during this process releases harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Exposure to by-products of cooking fuels is a major global health concern and the altering of the cooking environment is not enough to improve air quality in developing countries. In peri-urban areas of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, particulate matter levels were measured in buildings of householders; these comprised of nine indoor and nine outdoor kitchen locations. PM2.5 was monitored continuously for seven days at each building for nine weeks using the UCB monitor. Average 24 hour mean of PM2.5 levels for indoor kitchen location ranged between 48 µg/m3 and 648 µg/m3, while it was between 42 µg/m3 and 275 µg/m3 for outdoor kitchen locations. Households’ survey during cooking activities show that smoke infiltrated into buildings through eaves. The wafting around of the smoke and overnight retaining of fire in the hearth further compromised building air quality, and made the WHO daily average of 25 µg/m3 for PM2.5 to be exceeded. There is a wide gap between guidelines and the real air quality levels in buildings regardless of the kitchen location. Therefore, measures at reducing indoor air pollution should not only focus on cooking fuel for indoor kitchens, but all other kitchen types and locations must be considered as well.
Oluwakemi Akintan, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria
Stream: Natural, Environmental and Health Sciences
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