Chapter 3.6: Household Air Pollution (HAP)

While household air pollution (HAP) may not get as much media attention as other global and regional air pollution issues, the quality of air in homes has a direct and important effect on human health.  Health impacts of cigarette smoke on non-smokers living with smokers are well documented and publicized.  As a result, most people understand that cigarette smoke is a source of many different pollutants, including some that are carcinogenic.  Less well known are the effects of burning solid fuels indoors for heating and cooking.  Using data from 2012, the World Health Organization (2014) linked 4.3 million deaths globally to HAP, with many deaths occurring among children under five years of age.  Particularly hard hit are locations in Africa, India and Southeast Asia, where rural residents often have to rely on sources of solid fuels like cow dung, charcoal, and wood for cooking indoors.

Before you start this case study, visit the web sites listed here to review the basics on household air pollution.

Background Materials:

General Info on HAPs:

WHO’s strategy for reducing HAPs:

Textbook References and Links:
Exercise 4:  WHO case studies that have explored various intervention approaches:

Exercise 6:  The US EPA interactive household viewer that can be used to explore common pollutants found in modern homes:
Information about common types of indoor air pollutants, corrective strategies, and specific measures for reducing pollutant levels:

Downloadable data and files: NA