Reducing Indoor Air Pollution in Sri Lanka: Is the Situation Improving?

Indoor air pollution is linked with exposure to emissions from biomass combustion. This particularly affects women in low-income households. The exposure is linked to type of fuel use, cooking habits and stove and kitchen design. This study reviewed data on associated risk factors and made an assessment on whether the situation is improving or not, based on an extensive literature review and analysis of lessons learnt from past interventions. Strategies to reduce exposure include shifting from biomass to other fuels (e.g., gas), dissemination of improved cook stoves and improved kitchen design. These factors themselves are being influenced by economic, cultural and social factors. Relative prices and availability of gas, wood, dung and other sources of biomass affect household choice of fuel. There are also other reasons why biomass fuel may be preferred such as for drying, mosquito control and for heat generation in some areas (e.g., the hill country). Cooking habits and kitchen design may be influenced by cultural factors and space availability. The study assesses the current situation and also how exposure to biomass combustion emissions can be reduced in the future through the development and dissemination of improved cook stoves too.

Research team

Asha Gunawardena
Paul Steele



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