Health impacts of particulate matter in India dominated by residential combustion
Chronic exposure to elevated levels of particulate matter is detrimental to human health and reduces life expectancy. (World Health Organization). Besides natural sources like desert dust and plant emissions, man-made sources like traffic, industry and residential emissions contribute to particulate matter concentrations. In order to efficiently reduce their negative effects on human health one has first to understand which sources and processes are dominantly responsible in a given region of the world.
India, the continent with the highest population density is at the same time one of the regions with the worst air quality. In a recently published study we show that residential combustion processes (simple wood-fired stoves for cooking and heating) dominate the health impacts of particulate matter in India. In general, levels of particulate matter air pollution are so high that stringent emissions control measures will be needed to reduce the effects of elevated particulate matter concentrations on the health of the Indian population.
Conibear, L., Butt, E. W., Knote, C., Arnold, S. R., and Spracklen, D. V. (2018). "Residential energy use emissions dominate health impacts from exposure to ambient particulate matter in India". Nature Communications 9.1, p. 617. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-02986-7.