Impact of the improved Patsari biomass stove on urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon biomarkers and carbon monoxide exposures in rural Mexican women

Cooking with biomass fuels on open fires results in exposure to health-damaging pollutants such as CO, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and particulate matter. During the present study, the authors compared CO exposures and urinary PAH biomarkers pre and post intervention with an improved biomass stove, the Patsari stove. In a subsample of 63 women participating in a randomised controlled trial in central Mexico, the authors measured personal CO exposure for 8 h during the day using continuous monitors and passive samplers. First-morning urine samples obtained the next day were analysed for monohydroxylated PAH metabolites by gas chromatography/isotope dilution/high-resolution mass spectrometry. Exposure data were collected during the use of an open fire (pre intervention) and after installation of the improved stove (post intervention) for 47 women, enabling paired comparisons. Median pre- and post intervention values were 4 and 1 ppm for continuous personal CO and 3 and 1 ppm for passive sampler CO, respextively. Post intervention measurements indicated an average reduction of 42% for hydroxylated metabolites of naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene on a whole-weight concentration basis (micrograms per L of urine), and a 34% reduction on a creatinine-adjusted basis (micrograms per g of creatinine). Pre- and post intervention geometric mean values for 1-hydroxypyrene were 3.2 and 2.0 íg/g creatinine, respectively. The authors concluded that the results demonstrated that the use of the Patsari stove significantly reduced CO and PAH exposures in women. However, levels of many PAH biomarkers remained higher than those reported among smokers.

Authors: Riojas-Rodriguez, Horacio; Schilmann, Astrid; Marron-Mares, Adriana Teresa; Masera, Omar; Li, Zheng; Romanoff, Lovisa; Sjoedin, Andreas; Rojas-Bracho, Leonora; Needham, Larry L.; Romieu, Isabelle ;Full Source: Environmental Health Perspectives 2011, 119(9), 1301-1307 (Eng) ;