Biomass fuel use for cooking in Sri Lanka: Analysis of data from national demographic health surveys

Authors


  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

Biomass cooking fuel is the main source of indoor air pollution in the majority of households in the developing world. Sri Lanka is an island of about 20 million population with urban, rural, and estate population of 14.6%, 80.0%, and 5.4%, respectively. This study describes biomass fuel use for cooking in Sri Lanka.

Methods

We analyzed data from two national Demographic Health Surveys (2000 and 2007) to identify the use and determinants of cooking fuels in Sri Lankan households. The results are based on a sample of 8,169 households in 2000 and 19,862 households in 2007.

Results

Wood was the principal cooking fuel used in 78.3% and 78.5% of households in 2000 and 2007, respectively. In 2007, 96.3% of estate sector households used firewood as compared to 84.2% in the rural and 34.6% in the urban sectors. Similar trends were noted in 2000 as well.

Conclusions

The shift from firewood to cleaner fuels in Sri Lanka is negligible from 2000 to 2007. Improving the quality of life of the population does not necessarily predict a shift towards the use of cleaner cooking fuels in Sri Lanka. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:1122–1128, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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