Indoor air pollution

Global burden of disease due to indoor air pollution

In the year 2004, indoor air pollution from solid fuel use was responsible for almost 2 million annual deaths and 2.7% of the global burden of disease (in Disability-Adjusted Life Years or DALYs). This makes this risk factor the second biggest environmental contributor to ill health, behind unsafe water and sanitation.

Disease burden by level of development

The importance of indoor air pollution as a public health threat varies drastically according to the level of development: in low income countries, indoor air pollution is responsible for up to 4.0% of the burden of disease, while the same risk factor no longer features among the top 10 risk factors in industrialized countries.

Disease burden (DALYs) due to indoor air pollution by level of development - 2004

Threat to children's health

Acute lower respiratory infections, in particular pneumonia, continue to be the biggest killer of young children and cause more than 2 million annual deaths. Dependence on polluting solid fuels to meet basic energy needs is one of the underlying causes of pneumonia among children. Every year, indoor air pollution is responsible for nearly 900 000 deaths due to pneumonia among children under five years of age.