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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091936

The Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS) in Malawi: A Cross-Sectional Assessment of Carbon Monoxide Exposure and Carboxyhemoglobin Levels in Children under 5 Years Old

1
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
2
Centre for Genomics and Child Health, Queen Mary University of London, London E1 2AT, UK
3
Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust, Blantyre, Malawi
4
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, USA
5
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0844, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract

Household air pollution is estimated to cause half a million deaths from pneumonia in children worldwide. The Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS) was conducted to determine whether the use of cleaner-burning biomass-fueled cookstoves would reduce household air pollution and thereby the incidence of pneumonia in young children in rural Malawi. Here we report a cross-sectional assessment of carbon monoxide (CO) exposure and carboxyhemoglobin (COHgB) levels at recruitment to CAPS. Mean (SD; range) 48-h CO exposure of 1928 participating children was 0.90 (2.3; 0–49) ppm and mean (SD; range) COHgB level was 5.8% (3.3; 0–20.3). Higher mean CO and COHgB levels were associated with location (Chikhwawa versus Chilumba) (OR 3.55 (1.73–7.26)); (OR 2.77 (1.08–7.08)). Correlation between mean CO and COHgB was poor (Spearman’s ρ = 0.09, p < 0.001). The finding of high COHgB levels in young children in rural Malawi that are at levels at which adverse neurodevelopmental and cognitive effects occur is of concern. Effective approaches for reducing exposure to CO and other constituents of air pollution in rural sub-Saharan African settings are urgently needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: child health; environmental monitoring; personal exposure; CAPS child health; environmental monitoring; personal exposure; CAPS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Havens, D.; Wang, D.; Grigg, J.; Gordon, S.B.; Balmes, J.; Mortimer, K. The Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS) in Malawi: A Cross-Sectional Assessment of Carbon Monoxide Exposure and Carboxyhemoglobin Levels in Children under 5 Years Old. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1936.

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