Particle Emissions From Household Fires In South Africa
Free (open access)
445 - 456
P. B. C. Forbes
The effects of airborne particles on the atmosphere, climate and public health are among the central topics in current environmental research. South Africa is a developing country, therefore not all households have access to electricity. In municipalities in the province of the Eastern Cape, for example, electricity usage for cooking ranges from 95.5% of households to only 8.1%. The households which do not utilise electricity make use of other resources to meet their needs in terms of energy provision for lighting, cooking and heating, including charcoal and wood burning in braziers. This paper investigates the particle emissions from household fires prepared using two methods, with reference to potential human health effects. Particles were sampled onto quartz fibre filters, which were analysed by scanning electron microscopy and GCxGC-MS. Particulate matter collected near the traditional fire contained higher concentrations of adsorbed organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are of concern due to their potential human health effects. Changes in combustion conditions had a marked effect on the organic and particulate emissions. An integrated approach to reduce potential exposure from household fires should be explored, including energy efficient housing design; the provision of cost effective, energy efficient combustion appliances; as well as appropriate community education campaigns. Keywords: particle, denuder, household fires, quartz fibre filter, human health, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, GCxGC-MS, SEM. 1 Introduction The effects of airborne particles on the atmosphere, climate and public health are among the central topics in current environmental research. These particles
particle, denuder, household fires, quartz fibre filter, human health,polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, GCxGC-MS, SEM.