Quitting smoking may not be enough to improve your lung function if your cooking fuel is not clean and ventilation in the kitchen is not proper, research says.
"Substituting biogas for biomass fuel for cooking and improving kitchen ventilation could lead to a reduction of the global burden of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that makes breathing difficult), especially in non-industrialised nations," said the study led by Pixin Ran from the Guanzhou Medical University, China.
The researchers followed 996 villagers from southern China for nine years to examine the effects of cleaner fuels and better kitchen ventilation on lung function and disease.
For this study, the researchers offered nearly 1,000 participants from 12 villages access to biogas - a combustible clean fuel made by composting biomass at room temperature in a biogas digester - and improved kitchen ventilation, and people adopted these interventions according to their preferences.
The participants provided details about their lifestyle and had their lung function measured both at the outset of the study and at its end nine years later, and some were also interviewed and examined three and six years into the study.
The researchers found that people who adopted both improvements performed even better in lung function tests, and they were also less likely to develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The study appeared in the journal Public Library of Science (PLOS) Medicine.
Globally, indoor air pollution led to 4.3 million deaths, of which 34% were caused by strokes, 26% heart diseases and 12% respiratory disease in children in 2012, according to the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
In India, around 1.3 million people died of indoor air pollution in 2010 whereas death because of outdoor air pollution was around 6.2 lakh, acording to a global report.