Exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution from solid fuel combustion and respiratory outcomes in children in developed countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Valentina Guercio, Iulia C. Pojum, Giovanni Leonardi, Clive Shrubsole, Alison M. Gowers, Sani Dimitroulopoulou, Karen S. Exley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Epidemiological studies have shown a positive association between exposure to outdoor and indoor solid fuel combustion and adverse health effects. We reviewed the epidemiological evidence from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand on the association between outdoor and indoor exposure to solid fuel combustion and respiratory outcomes in children. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using random-effects models. We identified 74 articles. Due to limited evidence on other exposures and outcomes, we performed meta-analyses on the association between indoor wood burning exposure and respiratory outcomes. The RR for the highest vs the lowest category of indoor wood exposure was 0.90 (95% CI 0.77–1.05) considering asthma as an outcome. The corresponding pooled RRs for lower respiratory infection (LRI) and upper respiratory infection (URI) were 1.11 (95% CI 0.88, 1.41) and 1.11 (95% CI 0.85, 1.44) respectively. No association was found between indoor wood burning exposure and risk of wheeze and cough. Inconsistent and limited results were found considering the relationship between indoor wood burning exposure and other respiratory outcomes (rhinitis and hay fever, influenza) as well as indoor coal burning exposure and respiratory outcomes in children. Results from epidemiological studies that evaluated the relationship between the exposure to outdoor emissions derived from indoor combustion of solid fuels are too limited to allow firm conclusions. We found no association between indoor wood burning exposure and risk of asthma. A slight, but not significant, increased risk of LRI and URI was identified, although the available evidence is limited. Epidemiological studies evaluating the relationship between indoor coal burning exposure and respiratory outcomes, as well as, studies considering exposure to outdoor solid fuels, are too limited to draw any firm conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142187
Number of pages15
JournalScience of the Total Environment, The
Volume755
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • children's health
  • Coal burning
  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Solid fuel emissions
  • Wood burning
  • HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • LUNG-FUNCTION
  • FOLLOW-UP
  • SYMPTOMS
  • ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO-SMOKE
  • CHILDHOOD ASTHMA
  • OTITIS-MEDIA
  • WOOD-BURNING STOVES
  • YOUNG-CHILDREN

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