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India – Indoor air quality assessment in and around urban slums of Delhi city

Indoor Air. 2008 Dec;18(6):488-98.

Indoor air quality assessment in and around urban slums of Delhi city, India.

Kulshreshtha P, Khare M, Seetharaman P. Department of Resource Management, Institute of Home Economics, Delhi University, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India.

The present study aims at investigating the indoor air quality (IAQ) in selected households in one of the urban slums i.e. the Nizamuddin slums in Delhi, the capital city of India. The study includes investigations and assessments on associated health effects on the occupants living in inefficiently designed houses having poor ventilation. The monitoring of indoor air pollutants e.g. the respirable suspended particulate matter RSPM), the carbon dioxide (CO2), the carbon monoxide (CO), the sulphur dioxide (SO2) and the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for all three seasons i.e. summer (April-June 2004), rainy (July-September 2004) and winter (December 2004-February 2005) have been conducted. In addition, the spirometry tests on the occupants, particularly the womenfolk and children have been performed to determine the incidence of acute respiratory infections (ARI). Questionnaire survey has also been conducted in the households during the study period to investigate the sick building syndrome (SBS). The study reveals maximum concentration of indoor air pollutants in households during winters (December 2004-February 2005) associated with aggravated espiratory problems like cough, phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness among occupants particularly the women occupants. Besides, decrement in lung function indices (i.e. FVC and/or FEV1) due to increased oncentrations of RSPM and CO2 indoors during winter period has also been observed in the women respondents. The study concludes that women and children indoors are most vulnerable to respiratory problems compared to other sexes. A high SBS score is observed in these ‘urban poor’ households because of inadequate ventilation.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: ‘High indoor airborne pollutants during winter are associated with respiratory problems for women and children in houses in urban slum in Delhi. The work demonstrated the need of further studies of indoor air quality for the ‘urban poor’ in developing countries.’

Categories: India
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