September 28, 2009

New stove in Mexico: Better lung health

Mexican researchers found replacing open indoor fires with vented stoves improved lung health in people living under such conditions.

Study researcher Horacio Riojas-Rodriguez of the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica says the benefit was on par to a pack-a-day smoker kicking the habit.

The study, published in the Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, analyzed the first year of data for an ongoing project that looks at the impact of replacing traditional fires with a Patsari stove designed to reduce indoor air pollution. The study involved the women in more than 500 households from central Mexico randomized to receive the new Patsari stove at the beginning of the study, or upon its conclusion.

Each participant answered a symptom questionnaire at the outset of the study and every month thereafter for 10 months.

The researchers noted that fewer than one-third of the women receiving the Patsari stove mainly used it, and fully half reported still using the traditional open fire.

However, when the researchers analyzed those who actually used the Patsari stove compared with those who did not, they found strong association with Patsari stoves and marked improvements in respiratory health.

We wanted to know whether the Patsari stove would make a measurable difference in the health of people who were actually using it, Riojas-Rodriguez says in a statement.