Main content area

Status of indoor air pollution (IAP) through particulate matter (PM) emissions and associated health concerns in South Asia

Junaid, Muhammad, Syed, Jabir Hussain, Abbasi, Naeem Akhtar, Hashmi, Muhammad Zaffar, Malik, Riffat Naseem, Pei, De-Sheng
Chemosphere 2018 v.191 pp. 651-663
World Health Organization, air quality, biomass, burning, developing countries, indoor air pollution, mortality, particulate emissions, particulates, public health, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Exposure to particulate emissions poses a variety of public health concerns worldwide, specifically in developing countries. This review summarized the documented studies on indoor particulate matter (PM) emissions and their major health concerns in South Asia. Reviewed literature illustrated the alarming levels of indoor air pollution (IAP) in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka and Bhutan are confronted with relatively lower levels, albeit not safe. To our knowledge, data on this issue are absent from Afghanistan and Maldives. We found that the reported levels of PM10 and PM2.5 in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India were 2–65, 3–30, 4–22, 2–28 and 1–139, 2–180, 3–77, 1–40 fold higher than WHO standards for indoor PM10 (50 μg/m3) and PM2.5 (25 μg/m3), respectively. Regarding IAP-mediated health concerns, mortality rates and incidences of respiratory and non-respiratory diseases were increasing with alarming rates, specifically in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The major cause might be the reliance of approximately 80% population on conventional biomass burning in the region. Current review also highlighted the prospects of IAP reduction strategies, which in future can help to improve the status of indoor air quality and public health in South Asia.