Energy consumption and its effects on air pollution in Northern Syria

Since the Syrian uprising in 2011, approximately three million Syrians have been left homeless. Those citizens found themselves stuck in a relatively small zone in the north, struggling to meet their basic needs. With very limited resources, securing heating and cooking fuel was a big challenge. Individuals and NGOs have responded to this tragedy by providing a variety of stoves and fuels such as vessel fuel, LPGs, local types of biomasses, etc. All of these were emergency solutions with little concern for the consequences and ramifications on indoor air-pollution, and hence on health. Reportedly, several studies showed that a very small Particle Material (PM) are usually emitted during the fuel combustion process from stoves for space heating or cooking. Those particles are so small that they cannot be seen but can be very dangerous because they stay in the air inside the living space and are likely to enter the respiratory system. If the level of PM exceeds a certain limit, which is determined by WHO guidelines, it could cause severe and unrecoverable damage to health. It is important to recognize this in order to help people avoid additional risks within very harsh living conditions, poverty, and limited healthcare. However, literature reviews showed several research in other countries such as China and India dedicated particularly to detect the corelation between the fuel types and the level of air-pollution. effects of the local energy practices on indoor and/or outdoor air-pollution are monitored. Some studies went further and ranked the local fuels based on the contributing to air-pollution. To date, there are no similar studies for Syrian energy practices, both for space-heating or for cooking, on house-hold air-pollution.

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