New Article: Indoor and Personal PM2.5 Samples Differ in Chemical Composition and Alter Zebrafish Behavior Based on Primary Fuel Source

Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure has been linked to diverse human health impacts. Little is known about the potential heterogeneous impacts of PM2.5 generated from different indoor fuel sources and how exposure differs between personal and indoor environments. Therefore, we used PM2.5 collected by one stationary sampler in a kitchen and personal samplers (female and male participants), in homes (n = 24) in Kheri, India, that used either biomass or liquified petroleum gas (LPG) as primary fuel sources. PM2.5 samples (pooled by fuel type and monitor placement) were analyzed for oxidative potential and chemical composition, including elements and 125 organic compounds. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos were acutely exposed to varying concentrations of PM2.5 and behavioral analyses were conducted. We found relatively high PM2.5 concentrations (5–15 times above World Health Organization daily exposure guidelines) and varied human health-related chemical composition based on fuel type and monitor placement (up to 15% carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon composition). Altered biological responses, including changes to mortality, morphology, and behavior, were elicited by exposure to all sample types. These findings reveal that although LPG is generally ranked the least harmful compared to biomass fuels, chemical characteristics and biological impacts were still present, highlighting the need for further research in determining the safety of indoor fuel sources. Find JPB Fellow Courtney Roper’s latest article here.