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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 5378-5398; doi:10.3390/ijerph10115378

Is Household Air Pollution a Risk Factor for Eye Disease?

Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
School of Public Health, Divisions of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
John A. Moran Eye Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt lake City, UT 84132, USA
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33101, USA
World Health Organization, Geneva CH-1211, Switzerland
National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 September 2013 / Revised: 18 October 2013 / Accepted: 19 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [213 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


In developing countries, household air pollution (HAP) resulting from the inefficient burning of coal and biomass (wood, charcoal, animal dung and crop residues) for cooking and heating has been linked to a number of negative health outcomes, mostly notably respiratory diseases and cancers. While ocular irritation has been associated with HAP, there are sparse data on adverse ocular outcomes that may result from acute and chronic exposures. We consider that there is suggestive evidence, and biological plausibility, to hypothesize that HAP is associated with some of the major blinding, and painful, eye conditions seen worldwide. Further research on this environmental risk factor for eye diseases is warranted.
Keywords: biomass; blindness; cataract; trachoma; dry eye disease; household air pollution biomass; blindness; cataract; trachoma; dry eye disease; household air pollution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

West, S.K.; Bates, M.N.; Lee, J.S.; Schaumberg, D.A.; Lee, D.J.; Adair-Rohani, H.; Chen, D.F.; Araj, H. Is Household Air Pollution a Risk Factor for Eye Disease? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 5378-5398.

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