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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887

Resumen

CACERES L, Dante et al. Indoor air pollution in a zone of extreme poverty of Metropolitan Santiago. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2001, vol.129, n.1, pp.33-42. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872001000100005.

Background: Indoor pollution can be an important risk factor for human health, considering that people spend more than 60% of their time in their houses. Aim: To investigate indoor pollution in a zone of extreme poverty in Metropolitan Santiago. Material and methods: During 24h, carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), respirable particulate matter (PM10), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons absorbed in PM5, temperature and humidity, were measured in the interior of 24 houses in La Pintana, Santiago. Results: The higher pollutant concentrations were observed during hours when heating was used, in houses that used coal (mean PM10 250 µg/m3, CO 42 ppm, SO2 192 ppb) or firewood (mean PM10 489 µg/m3, CO 57 ppm, SO2 295 ppb). In all houses, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were detected and they came from the interior of the house and not from external filtered air. Coal, firewood and cigarette smoke were important sources of carcinogenic and kerosene and gas were sources of non carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Conclusions: In the houses studied, the population was exposed to an accumulation of highly toxic pollutants, caused by a lack of ventilation. A high relative humidity also contributed to the growth of biological pollutants (Rev Méd Chile 2001; 129: 33-42).

Palabras clave : Air pollutants, environmental; Air pollution, indoor; Hydrocarbons, aromatic; polycyclic hydrocarbons; Smog; Smoke.

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