Cooking fuels and respiratory symptoms in kitchen workers in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania

  • A Mahembe
  • SL Mkoma
  • JL Kinambo


Few studies on a possible association between cooking fumes from different fuels and respiratory diseases other than cancer have been reported earlier. In the present study, an attempt was made to find out various respiratory symptoms in 360 kitchen workers using different cooking fuels. The study was conducted between October 2009 and March 2010 and consisted of 234 females and 126 males. The kitchen workers from 104 selected kitchens in hotels, fast food restaurants, institution, food vendors and in households of the general population were interviewed using a questionnaire. Information on the presence of dry cough, productive cough, running nose, irritation of nose or eyes, and chest pain in connection with work were asked. The overall respiratory symptoms were observed in 68.9% of the surveyed kitchen workers. With the exception of dry cough, females encountered 61.54% of productive cough, 57.69% running nose, and 71.28% irritation of nose or eyes. Chest pain and irritation of nose and eyes were more common in kitchen workers that use biomass fuel, charcoal and/or kerosene than other cooking fuels. The results of the study indicate a significant relationship (p < 0.05) between use of different cooking fuels and respiratory symptoms. However, further studies are needed to support the present results.
© 2010 International Formulae Group. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Kitchen work; cooking fuels; Respiratory infection; Cooks


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1997-342X
print ISSN: 1991-8631