Indoor Air Quality for Poor Families: New Evidence from Bangladesh

Poor households in Bangladesh depend heavily on wood, dung and other biomass fuels for cooking. This paper provides a detailed analysis of the implications for indoor air pollution, drawing on new monitoring data for respirable airborne particulates (PM10) in a large number of Bangladeshi households.

As expected, econometric results indicate that fuel choice significantly affects indoor pollution levels: Natural gas and kerosene are significantly cleaner than biomass fuels. However, household-specific factors apparently matter more than fuel choice in determining PM10 concentrations. In some biomass-burning households, concentrations are scarcely higher than in households that use natural gas. Results suggest that cross-household variation is strongly affected by structural arrangements: cooking locations, construction materials, and ventilation practices.

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Susmita Dasgupta Mainul Huq M. Khaliquzzaman Kiran Pandey and David Wheeler
World Bank