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Reductions in urinary metabolites of exposure to household air pollution in pregnant, rural Guatemalan women provided liquefied petroleum gas stoves.

  • Weinstein, John R
  • Diaz-Artiga, Anaité
  • Benowitz, Neal
  • Thompson, Lisa M
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2020
eScholarship - University of California
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BackgroundHousehold air pollution from solid fuels is a leading risk factor for morbidity and mortality worldwide. Pregnant women's exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), two components of solid-fuel smoke, is associated with adverse birth outcomes. Even with improved solid-fuel stoves, exposure to PAHs and VOCs remains high. Therefore, cleaner cooking fuels need to be prioritized.ObjectiveWe aimed to quantify exposure reduction to PAHs and VOCs among pregnant women in rural Guatemala with a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stove intervention.Materials and methodsUrine from pregnant women (N = 50) was collected twice: at <20 weeks gestation, when women cooked exclusively with wood, and 6-8 weeks after receiving an LPG stove. Metabolites of four PAHs and eight VOCs were analyzed. Concurrent with urine collection, personal 48-h PM2.5 exposure was measured.ResultsWomen cooking exclusively with wood were exposed to high levels of particulate matter (PM2.5), which was reduced by 57% with the LPG stove. Urinary concentrations of total PAH metabolites (-37%), PMA (benzene metabolite; -49%), and CNEMA (acrylonitrile metabolite; -51%) were reduced. However, recent use of a wood-fired sauna bath led to large increases in excretion of urinary toxicant metabolites (+66-135%).ConclusionsThis is the first study to report PAH and VOC reductions from an LPG stove intervention introduced during pregnancy. However, other sources of air pollution minimized the gains seen from using an LPG stove. Thus, all sources of air pollution must be addressed in concert to reduce exposures to levels that protect health.

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