Potential Effects of Domestic Energy on the Health of Women
AbstractObjective: To highlight the various potential health problems women and others exposed to gases/substances emitted from domestic sources of energy are at risk of. A review of the literature on the health problems associated with use of various forms of energy fuels was done.
Review: Not much literature has emanated from Nigeria on the health effects on users of domestic energy. Sources of domestic energy in Nigeria include coal; firewood; kerosene; liquefied natural gas (LNG); electricity and sawdust. The gaseous and other chemical emissions by these materials in the course of energy production have been recorded as having adverse effects on the health of the users and other exposed persons.
In Nigeria, the bulk of the domestic chores during which people are exposed to the effects of these gases, are done by women.
Conditions such as cooking in overcrowded areas predispose to the different health problems. With a source such as coal, users in overcrowded areas experience health problems such as asthma, chronic cough, eye irritation, headache and others.
Conclusion: The health effects of exposure to emissions from domestic energy sources are felt mostly by women. Different levels of risks are associated with different energy fuels with coal the most hazardous. Most of the damage is to the respiratory system. There is a need for clinical and epidemiological data to be collected and collated to study the problem.
Key Words: Energy use, Pollutants, Environmental damage
Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.16(2) 2004: 20-23