Exposure Contrasts of Pregnant Women during the Household Air Pollution Intervention Network Randomized Controlled Trial

Environ Health Perspect. 2022 Sep;130(9):97005. doi: 10.1289/EHP10295. Epub 2022 Sep 16.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Exposure to PM2.5 arising from solid fuel combustion is estimated to result in ∼2.3 million premature deaths and 91 million lost disability-adjusted life years annually. Interventions attempting to mitigate this burden have had limited success in reducing exposures to levels thought to provide substantive health benefits.

OBJECTIVES: This paper reports exposure reductions achieved by a liquified petroleum gas (LPG) stove and fuel intervention for pregnant mothers in the Household Air Pollution Intervention Network (HAPIN) randomized controlled trial.

METHODS: The HAPIN trial included 3,195 households primarily using biomass for cooking in Guatemala, India, Peru, and Rwanda. Twenty-four-hour exposures to PM2.5, carbon monoxide (CO), and black carbon (BC) were measured for pregnant women once before randomization into control (n=1,605) and LPG (n=1,590) arms and twice thereafter (aligned with trimester). Changes in exposure were estimated by directly comparing exposures between intervention and control arms and by using linear mixed-effect models to estimate the impact of the intervention on exposure levels.

RESULTS: Median postrandomization exposures of particulate matter (PM) with aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5μm (PM2.5) in the intervention arm were lower by 66% at the first (71.5 vs. 24.1μg/m3), and second follow-up visits (69.5 vs. 23.7μg/m3) compared to controls. BC exposures were lower in the intervention arm by 72% (9.7 vs. 2.7μg/m3) and 70% (9.6 vs. 2.8μg/m3) at the first and second follow-up visits, respectively, and carbon monoxide exposure was 82% lower at both visits (1.1 vs. 0.2 ppm) in comparison with controls. Exposure reductions were consistent over time and were similar across research locations.

DISCUSSION: Postintervention PM2.5 exposures in the intervention arm were at the lower end of what has been reported for LPG and other clean fuel interventions, with 69% of PM2.5 samples falling below the World Health Organization Annual Interim Target 1 of 35μg/m3. This study indicates that an LPG intervention can reduce PM2.5 exposures to levels at or below WHO targets. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP10295.

PMID:36112539 | DOI:10.1289/EHP10295

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