WHO Sets Indoor Air Quality Guidelines
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After having announced earlier in 2014 that an estimated seven million people die annually from pollution exposure, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued benchmarks for achieving healthy air in and around the home.

Among its suggestions, the WHO recommends avoiding unprocessed coal and kerosene as household fuels.

WHO12 November 2014: After having announced earlier in 2014 that an estimated seven million people die annually from pollution exposure, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued benchmarks for achieving healthy air in and around the home. Among its suggestions, WHO recommends avoiding unprocessed coal and kerosene as household fuels.

The recommendations are contained in a report, titled ‘WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Household Fuel Combustion,’ which also sets target limits for particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from various domestic appliances, such as cookstoves, space heaters and fuel-based lamps. The report further urges governments to speed efforts to meet the targets and, where necessary, prioritize transition fuels and technologies that have substantial health benefits.

According to WHO, households using open-burning and unvented coal or biomass stoves often emit carcinogenic particulate matter and other pollutants at a level 100 times greater than recommended. In addition, women and children bear the heaviest burden of the risks, given their proximity to indoor stoves and appliances and protracted time spent indoors.

WHO regional offices plan to assist countries in applying the guidelines. The Organization also intends to review and update the publication periodically. [WHO Press Release] [WHO Publication Webpage] [Publication: WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Household Fuel Combustion] [IISD RS Story on Air Pollution-Related Deaths]

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