ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organization (WHO) launched its first guidelines for indoor air quality, setting targets for reducing
emissions of health-damaging pollutants from domestic cooking stoves, space heaters and fuel-based lamps.
The new guidelines came after WHO revealed earlier this year that some 4.3 million people worldwide die every year from household air pollution emitted by rudimentary biomass and coal cooking stoves, Xinhua reported.
The high levels of fine particulate matter and carbon monoxide, released by the burning of solid fuels such as wood, coal, animal dung, crop waste and charcoal in inefficient stoves, space heaters or lamps, increased the risks of stroke, ischemic heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The guidelines, aimed to improve air quality in poor households and to reduce pollution-related diseases and deaths, set emissions targets for different kinds of domestic appliances, for both carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter.
It recommended the emission rates of particulate matter from household fuel combustion should not exceed 0.23 mg per min or 0.8 mg per min depending on unvented or vented conditions.
In addition, the emission rates of carbon dioxide from household fuel combustion should not exceed 0.16 g per min and 0.59 g per min depending on unvented or vented conditions.
The new guidelines advised countries not to use unprocessed coal or kerosene as home energy sources, and to look for substitute fuels.
However, nearly three billion people worldwide still lack access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking, heating and lighting.
“Ensuring cleaner air in and around the home is fundamental to reducing the burden of disease from air pollution, especially in low and middle-income countries,” Maria Neira, WHO director for Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, said.