Seasonal and Diurnal Air Pollution from Residential Cooking and Space Heating in the Eastern Tibetan Plateau

Ellison Carter, Scott Archer-Nicholls, Kun Ni, Alexandra M. Lai, Hongjiang Niu, Matthew H. Secrest, Sara M. Sauer, James J. Schauer, Majid Ezzati, Christine Wiedinmyer, Xudong Yang, Jill Baumgartner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Residential combustion of solid fuel is a major source of air pollution. In regions where space heating and cooking occur at the same time and using the same stoves and fuels, evaluating air-pollution patterns for household-energy-use scenarios with and without heating is essential to energy intervention design and estimation of its population health impacts as well as the development of residential emission inventories and air-quality models. We measured continuous and 48 h integrated indoor PM2.5 concentrations over 221 and 203 household-days and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations on a subset of those days (in summer and winter, respectively) in 204 households in the eastern Tibetan Plateau that burned biomass in traditional stoves and open fires. Using continuous indoor PM2.5 concentrations, we estimated mean daily hours of combustion activity, which increased from 5.4 h per day (95% CI: 5.0, 5.8) in summer to 8.9 h per day (95% CI: 8.1, 9.7) in winter, and effective air-exchange rates, which decreased from 18 ± 9 h-1 in summer to 15 ± 7 h-1 in winter. Indoor geometric-mean 48 h PM2.5 concentrations were over two times higher in winter (252 μg/m3 95% CI: 215, 295) than in summer (101 μg/m3 95%: 91, 112), whereas outdoor PM2.5 levels had little seasonal variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8353-8361
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2 2016

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