Air Pollution and Health in Rapidly Developing Countries by Gordon McGranahan, Frank Murray

By Gordon McGranahan, Frank Murray

(Earthscan) Murdoch Univ., Australia. textual content experiences fresh advancements within the box and their relevance for public overall healthiness in constructing nations. offers reports from Asian, African, and Latin American international locations; and contrasts findings with these from Europe and North the United States. Softcover.

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Science may be objective in its own terms, but the selection of topics for scientific study is not. The health effects of air pollution have been far more heavily studied in affluent countries largely because of the availability of funds, not because of any prior reason to suspect that health effects are less serious in other parts of the world. Much the same applies to the relatively large amount of attention given to ambient air pollution as compared to indoor air pollution. From a political perspective, there is no overriding reason why the same standard of scientific rigour should be required to motivate policy actions to address comparable problems that have received very different amounts of research.

In most low income countries, however, an exclusive focus on ambient air quality is potentially very misleading. As described by Sumeet Saksena and Kirk Smith in Chapter 7, indoor air pollution may be having a large impact on health owing to the use of biofuels, such as fuelwood, to cook (and sometimes heat) in enclosed spaces, especially in rural areas. Among the principal health risks are acute respiratory infection in children, and chronic obstructive lung disease and lung cancer in women. Despite its potentially great importance, most of the research on the health risks of indoor air pollution is recent, with smaller sample sizes and study designs far less sophisticated than those used to study the effects of outdoor air concentrations.

The mixture of particles in the communities studied in the development of the particulate guideline was dominated by emissions from motor vehicles, power generation and space heating by natural gas and light oil combustion. The mixtures in communities in developing countries may be different. They may be dominated by different emissions sources with different chemical characteristics, and by wind-blown soil with entirely different toxic properties from those in the studies used by WHO. 12 AIR POLLUTION AND HEALTH IN RAPIDLY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 2 3 The concentration range may be substantially different.

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