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Is household air pollution a risk factor for eye disease?

  • Author(s): West, Sheila
  • BATES, Michael N.
  • Lee, Jennifer
  • Schaumberg, Debra
  • Lee, David
  • Adair-Rohani, Heather
  • Chen, Dong
  • Araj, Houmam
  • et al.
Abstract

In developing countries, household air pollution (HAP) resulting from the inefficient burning of coal and biomass (wood, charcoal, animal dung and crop residues) for cooking and heating has been linked to a number of negative health outcomes, mostly notably respiratory diseases and cancers. While ocular irritation has been associated with HAP, there are sparse data on adverse ocular outcomes that may result from acute and chronic exposures. We consider that there is suggestive evidence, and biological plausibility, to hypothesize that HAP is associated with some of the major blinding, and painful, eye conditions seen worldwide. Further research on this environmental risk factor for eye diseases is warranted.

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