Individuals in developing countries utilize biomass fuels for
cooking, leading to indoor air pollution and biomass smoke
inhalation. (Yadama, 2013)
According to the World Health Organization, over 4 million premature deaths every year are attributed to biomass smoke inhalation, which is the leading environmental risk-factor for mortality. Animal dung is a biomass fuel that is used by vulnerable individuals in developing countries who cannot afford or access more efficient sources of energy, like wood or gas. Epidemiological studies associate biomass smoke with an increased risk for inflammatory lung diseases and respiratory infections.
However, there is currently little experimental data examining how dung biomass smoke exposure causes pulmonary inflammatory responses and impairs immune defenses. We investigate the toxicological effects of dung biomass smoke exposure in the lung using an automated dung biomass smoke generation system, primary human small airway epithelial cells, and mouse models. Techniques and areas of investigation: particle characterization, primary cell culture, preclinical animal models, ELISAs, Western blot, immunostaining, and quantitative PCR.