An Exploration of Poor Female Understanding about Health Hazards of Indoor Air Pollution in Bangladesh

Bijoy Krishna Banik


This paper will identify health hazards associated with indoor air pollution (IAP) in Bangladesh. Research into IAP in Bangladesh has been neglected for many decades.  This neglect may reflect aspect of the marginalization of women in Bangladeshi society, especially as cooking is considered a social responsibility of women. The main purposes of the paper are to examine types of the IAP-related health threats female domestic cook experienced and to understand their level of awareness about the link between IAP exposure and poor health outcomes. Two hundred female domestic cook in Rajshahi City, Bangladesh, were interviewed by using a semi-structured questionnaire interview method. Levels of monthly household income and of education, oven and fuel types are used as proxy determinants of class. Based on educational level, respondents were categorized into three classes: illiterate, primary (1-5 level) and secondary (6-10 level). It found that the higher the educational level the respondents had, the more they were likely to be aware of health effects associated with IAP. The author draws a conclusion that women with less monthly household income (below 5000 BD Taka) and minimum level of education, using solid fuels and mud-ovens in poor ventilated environment, are more likely to be exposed to IAP and, as a consequence, have greater health risks than others. Finally, as recommended, if the Bangladesh Government is able to supply green and clean fuel sources with subsidies for poor women, it would be easier for Bangladesh to achieve the 3rd Sustainable Development Goal—ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages—at the right time (2030).
Smoke in the home, the fourth greatest cause of death and diseases in the world’s poorest countries, kills more people than malaria does, and almost as many as unsafe water and sanitation. It kills 1.6 million people annually, nearly a million of them are children. Most of the rest are women (Smith et al., 2005).


Health hazards, Indoor air pollution, Women, Bangladesh.

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An Exploration of Poor Female Understanding about Health Hazards of Indoor Air Pollution in Bangladesh


Health hazards, Indoor air pollution, Women, Bangladesh.





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Journal of Environments
Vol 4, No 1 (2017) Page: 1-8

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Bijoy Krishna Banik
Professor of Sociology, University of Rajshahi


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Journal of Environments
Online ISSN: 2313-660X


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