Few studies have been done on indoor air pollution in areas of extreme poverty in developing countries. In such countries, for economic reasons, people use solid fuel for cooking and heating fuels which by incomplete combustion generate high levels of toxic pollutants. These represent an important risk factor for human health. We have investigated the levels of carbon monoxide (CO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), respirable particulate matter (PM10 ), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and mutagenicity in the PM5 fraction, as well as temperature and humidity, in the interior of 24 houses in La Pintana, Santiago. In addition, we have conducted a survey about symptoms, signs and respiratory diseases possibly associated with socio-economic factors in the area. The survey showed that in children younger than 2 years, most respiratory diseases occur during winter (75%), the most frequent complaint being bronchitis (62%) and obstructive bronchitis (50%). The higher pollutant concentrations were observed during heating hours, in houses that used coal (mean PM10 250 µg·m–3, CO 42 ppm, SO2 192 ppb) or firewood (mean PM10 489 µg·m–3, CO 57 ppm, SO2 295 ppb). PAHs were detected in all houses and we concluded that they came from inside the house and not from outdoor infiltration. Coal, firewood and cigarette smoke were important sources of mutagenic and carcinogenic PAHs, whereas kerosene and gas contributed mainly to the non-carcinogenic PAH fraction. In the houses studied, the population was exposed to levels of toxic pollutants that are much higher than those found outdoors in the highly polluted city of Santiago. In addition, overcrowding, excessive indoor humidity, very low indoor temperatures when the heating system was turned off, the presence of domestic animals, cats and dogs indoors and general lack of hygiene (with attendant bacteria and fungi) are risk factors to explain the high incidence of respiratory diseases in children.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.