Kerosene lighting contributes to household air pollution in rural Uganda

D. Muyanja, J. G. Allen, J. Vallarino, L. Valeri, B. Kakuhikire, D. R. Bangsberg, D. C. Christiani, A. C. Tsai, P. S. Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The literature on the contribution of kerosene lighting to indoor air particulate concentrations is sparse. In rural Uganda, kitchens are almost universally located outside the main home, and kerosene is often used for lighting. In this study, we obtained longitudinal measures of particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller in size (PM2.5) from living rooms and kitchens of 88 households in rural Uganda. Linear mixed-effects models with a random intercept for household were used to test the hypotheses that primary reported lighting source and kitchen location (indoor vs outdoor) are associated with PM2.5 levels. During initial testing, households reported using the following sources of lighting: open-wick kerosene (19.3%), hurricane kerosene (45.5%), battery-powered (33.0%), and solar (1.1%) lamps. During follow-up testing, these proportions changed to 29.5%, 35.2%, 18.2%, and 9.1%, respectively. Average ambient, living room, and kitchen PM2.5 levels were 20.2, 35.2, and 270.0 μg/m3. Living rooms using open-wick kerosene lamps had the highest PM2.5 levels (55.3 μg/m3) compared to those using solar lighting (19.4 μg/m3; open wick vs solar, P=.01); 27.6% of homes using open-wick kerosene lamps met World Health Organization indoor air quality standards compared to 75.0% in homes using solar lighting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1022-1029
Number of pages8
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • PM
  • cookstove
  • indoor air pollution
  • kerosene
  • resource-limited setting
  • uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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