Back to browse results
Maternal exposure to cooking smoke and risk of low birth weight in India
Authors: Samarul Islam and Sanjay K. Mohanty
Source: Science of The Total Environment, Volume 774, DOI:
Topic(s): Birth weight
Environmental health
Household solid fuel use
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2021
Abstract: Over half of the households in India are using unclean cooking fuels (UCF) and exposed to harmful pollutants that has adverse effects on weight of new born baby. Though studies examined the contextual determinants of birth weight, the association of cooking practices and kitchen location with low birth weight (LBW) is limited in India. This paper investigates the comprehensive effects of household air pollution (HAP) on LBW, mean birth weight (MBW) and birth size in India. Data from 93,721 full-term singleton births from the fourth round of National Family Health Survey, conducted during 2015–16 is used in the analyses. Binary logistic and linear regression methods were used to assess the effect of cooking practices on the outcome variables. Children born in households using clean cooking fuels (CCF) (2877 g, 95% CI: 2876–2877) had 80 g higher birth weight compared with UCF (2797 g, 95% CI: 2796–2798). Households using UCF and cooking without separate kitchen (2779 g, 95% CI:2778–2780) had 59 g and 98 g lower MBW as compared to the households using UCF and cooking in separate kitchen (2817 g, 95% CI:2816–2818) and CCF respectively. Significant associations of LBW observed with the place of cooking and cooking practices but no significant association found for cooking fuels. The HAP from poor cooking practices is associated with risks of LBW in India. Transition from unclean to clean fuels, provision of the separate kitchen should be encouraged to reduce the maternal exposure to HAP and improve birth outcomes.