Household air pollution from biomass fuels in urban and rural areas in Paraguay
In collaboration with the Direccion General de Salud Ambiental (DIGESA), Ministry of Health, and PAHO-Paraguay, we conducted the first study characterizing the air quality of households using firewood or charcoal to cook as well as those withusing LPG or electricity.  We monitored 24-hour PM2.5 and CO levels in the household kitchen area. Additionally, an outdoor PM2.5 sampling campaign was performed in each comunity. Indoor PM2.5 levels were high in households using firewood, followed by those using charcoal. Households cooking with LPG and electricity showed PM2.5 concentrations similar to levels found outdoors. Ambient PM2.5 were frequently above 35 ug/m3 and was attributable to biomass used to cook, but also to combustion of residential and agricultural waste.

The project findings will contribute to advancing the DIGESA and PAHO-Paraguay strategic plans for air pollution. These include the development of national air quality guidelines, justification for programs supporting clean energy in households, and increasing national capacity for air quality monitoring. It is hoped this research will be useful to improve the quality of life of families with economic needs in Paraguay.