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Breathing with an enemy in the kitchen: a narrative review of the concepts on cleaner energy, respiratory effects of indoor air pollution due to cooking and the potential way forward

Authors:

P. K. B. Mahesh ,

Regional Directorate of Health Services, Colombo District, LK
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M. W. Gunathunga,

University of Colombo, LK
About M. W.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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S. Jayasinghe,

University of Colombo, LK
About S.
Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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S. M. Arnold,

Regional Directorate of Health Services, Colombo District, LK
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K. Mallawarachchi,

Ministry of Health, LK
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L. S. De Silva

University of Colombo, LK
About L. S.
Postgraduate Institute of Medicine
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Abstract

Indoor air pollution due to household cooking is a hidden public health problem especially in developing countries. This review article discusses global literature on the concepts on cleaner energy, effects of indoor air pollution due to cooking on the different aspects of the respiratory system and the potential way forward in dealing with them. We searched relevant articles published from year 2000 onwards in three electronic databases and in other publications using keywords. Two authors independently assessed the relevance of the articles based on the scope of review. Altogether, 56 articles and four webpages were cited. A narrative review was done.

 

Primitive fuels mentioned in the energy ladder are still commonly used for cooking, especially in the developing world. Around 40% of people worldwide suffer from energy poverty. The choice of fuel energy is decided by multi-faceted influences. Primitive fuels including bio-mass fuels yield more pollutants than cleaner fuels. Cooking practices have an influence on the amount of pollution. Higher prevalence of respiratory infections is associated with cooking smoke especially among children. Most documented literature points toward a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms, lung cancer and impaired lung functions with cooking smoke. Cleaner fuels seemingly cause less pollution though the literature is rare on kerosene. In conclusion, energy poverty is expected to worsen in future. The associations between cooking smoke and negative respiratory consequences have been well established in most research studies. Strategies of reducing household smoke due to cooking must be promoted.
How to Cite: Mahesh, P.K.B., Gunathunga, M.W., Jayasinghe, S., Arnold, S.M., Mallawarachchi, K. and De Silva, L.S., 2019. Breathing with an enemy in the kitchen: a narrative review of the concepts on cleaner energy, respiratory effects of indoor air pollution due to cooking and the potential way forward. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 24(4), pp.162–169. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v24i4.8141
Published on 06 Mar 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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