Environmental Economics & Policies; Population & Development; Water and Industry; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; TF030632-DANISH CTF - FY05 (DAC PART COUNTRIES GNP PER CAPITA BELOW USD 2,500/AL; Public Health Promotion
Summary: In this paper the authors investigate individuals' exposure to indoor air pollution. Using new survey data from Bangladesh, they analyze exposure at two levels-differences within households attributable to family roles, and differences across households attributable to income and education. Within households, they relate individuals' exposure to pollution in different locations during their daily round of activity. The authors find high levels of exposure for children and adolescents of both sexes, with particularly serious exposure for children under 5. Among prime-age adults, they find that men have half the exposure of women (whose exposure is similar to that of children and adolescents). They also find that elderly men have significantly lower exposure than elderly women. Across households, they draw on results from their previous paper (Dasgupta et al, 2004), which relate pollution variation across households to choices of cooking fuel, cooking locations, construction materials, and ventilation practices. They find that these choices are significantly affected by family income and adult education levels (particularly for women). Overall, the authors find that the poorest, least-educated households have twice the pollution levels of relatively high-income households with highly-educated adults. For children in a typical household, pollution exposure can be halved by adopting two simple measures-increasing their outdoor time from 3 to 5 or 6 hours a day, and concentrating outdoor time during peak cooking periods. The authors recognize that weather and other factors may intervene occasionally, and that child supervision outdoors may be difficult for some households. However, the potential benefits are so great that neighbors might well agree to pool outdoor supervision once they became aware of the implications for their children's health.
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