Biomass cooking carbon monoxide levels in commercial canteens in Kigali, Rwanda

Katherine Woolley, Suzanne Bartington, Francis Pope, Malcolm Price, G Neil Thomas, Telesphore Kabera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Downloads (Pure)


Carbon monoxide (CO) is harmful to human health, yet there is limited evidence concerning emissions associated with biomass fuel cooking in occupational settings.

Real-time 48-hour monitoring of CO concentrations at breathing height, was undertaken in staff and student kitchen and serving areas of two commercial canteens. We characterised two diurnal CO peaks coinciding with cooking activities. Peak CO concentrations of 255.5 ppm and 1-hour average of 76.3 ppm (IQR: 57.8–109.0 ppm) were observed in the student kitchen; the staff kitchen levels were 208.5 ppm, and 76.3 ppm (IQR: 52.5–114.0 ppm), respectively.

High magnitude CO concentrations (8-hour average: 40.7 ppm SD: 40.0 ppm) which exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) Indoor Air Quality standards were observed. Further investigation of personal exposure and health impacts among kitchen staff are required, to inform interventions in this setting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
Early online date13 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 May 2020


  • Biomass
  • Carbon monoxide;
  • Charcoal
  • Commercial canteens
  • Indoor air pollution
  • Occupational exposure


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomass cooking carbon monoxide levels in commercial canteens in Kigali, Rwanda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this