Coal And Kids

Coal And Kids

PostBy: Don On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:38 am

Contact: Phyllis Brown
phyllis.brown@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9023
University of California - Davis Health System

Coal used for indoor heating is associated with shorter stature in very young children
In a finding of significant worldwide public-health consequence, researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine and in the Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic have found that emissions from the indoor use of coal for heating and cooking may impair early childhood growth and development.

The research, published online today in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA Archives journal, found that children reared in homes where coal was the primary fuel source exhibited shorter stature at 36 months of age when compared with children reared in households where other sources of energy were used.

The study is accompanied by an opinion piece by the editors on the increasing evidence of the developmental toxicity on indoor solid fuel combustion.

The study found that children whose families used coal as a primary fuel source had an average height at 3 years of age that was a statistically significant 1.3 centimeters, or approximately one-half inch, shorter than children reared in households that used other fuels, like electricity or gas central heating. The use of another biomass — wood — was not associated with a shorter stature.

"While the difference in height is not large, it does indicate that exposure to dirty fuel sources has an influence on basic processes associated with growth," said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences at UC Davis. The study notes that while previous studies have identified adverse affects from prenatal exposure to indoor coal and solid biomass combustion, the relationship between such exposure and postnatal growth is a novel finding.

The study was conducted in two districts in the Czech Republic, Teplice and Prachatice, between 1994 and 1998, in partnership with researchers at the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, as part of the Teplice Program of the Czech Ministry of Environment, with assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The epidemiological study used data collected from the Childhood Health and Air Pollution (CHAP) Study, also known as the Czech Early Childhood Health Study, a longitudinal follow-up of a birth cohort of Czech children. The study included 1,133 male and female children of Czech and Roma ethnicity whose parents completed questionnaires about the mothers' reproductive and medical histories and lifestyle factors, including smoking and drinking at two time points: at delivery and when the children were 3 years old.

The questionnaire contained several inquiries pertaining to indoor coal use for cooking or heating. These included "In which way is your household heated?" and "What is the primary type of fuel used for cooking?" Available responses for heating included central heating, gas furnace inside versus outside the house or apartment, coal furnace inside versus outside, electricity, or wood-burning stove. Answer options for cooking included gas, propane, electricity, coal, wood or other. Few respondents used coal for cooking and virtually all who used it for cooking also used it for heating.

A little more than 10 percent of study households used coal for heating and 6.8 percent used wood. After adjustment for a variety of factors, indoor coal use was significantly associated with decreased height for age and sex at age 36 months. The study's authors said the findings "reaffirm that the negative impact of indoor air pollution from coal may extend beyond the respiratory system of children and indicate possible systemic affects."

About half of the world's households use solid fuels — biomass and coal — for heating and cooking in small devices that produce significant amounts of emissions. These emissions probably are the cause of about 4 to 5 percent of the global burden of disease, according to a 2000 study by the World Energy Assessment.

"Coal smoke contains, among other types of chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which may influence the production or activity of certain growth factors. Slower growth, particularly in early life, often is an indicator of poorer health or greater disease susceptibility," Hertz-Picciotto said. "PAHs also are present in direct or second-hand tobacco smoke, emissions from the tailpipes of motor vehicles and smoke from most fires."


###
Other study authors include lead study author Rakesh Ghosh, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis; E. Amirian of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver; and Miroslav Dostal and Radim Sram of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.

The study was funded by a grant from the Czech Ministry of the Environment.

UC Davis Health System is advancing the health of patients everywhere by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. The academic health system includes one of the country's best medical schools, a 645-bed acute-care teaching hospital, an 800-member physician's practice group and the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, an international neurodevelopmental institute, a stem cell institute and a comprehensive children's hospital. Other nationally prominent centers focus on advancing telemedicine, improving vascular care, eliminating health disparities and translating research findings into new treatments for patients. Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For more information, visit healthsystem.ucdavis.edu.
Don
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker k-2
Stove/Furnace Model: utica starfire

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: freetown fred On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:06 am

As my friend STING sometimes asks--"what's the point"?? Could this be a bias study--I'd be interested to see where all the funding came from on this one?? I have lived with coal or wood heat all my life--I am 6'4",have lived 65 good yrs health wise & project a few more down the pike here--all my kids were taller then most thier age growing up & have no respiratory problems. Interesting post though :mrgreen: :clap: toothy---PLUS---I've got 8 healthy pain in the butt grandkids who are also being raised with wood/coal heating devices ;)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 am

Don wrote:"Coal smoke contains, among other types of chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which may influence the production or activity of certain growth factors.

Maybe it was the fish?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycyclic ... ydrocarbon

PAHs occur in oil, coal, and tar deposits, and are produced as byproducts of fuel burning (whether fossil fuel or biomass). As a pollutant, they are of concern because some compounds have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic. PAHs are also found in cooked foods. Studies have shown that high levels of PAHs are found, for example, in meat cooked at high temperatures such as grilling or barbecuing, and in smoked fish.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea


Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: whistlenut On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:21 am

Interesting study, but what type of coal? Bit? Limited study....what next? We know the 'sun' can cause skin cancer...so do we all go underground? All the basketball players from that part of the world sure seem to NOT be smaller than average. Could it be the toxic crap in the air and soil was from soviet influence? Was it the water they drink?
The food they eat. I like my chances just the way they are. Wood smoke is harmless to everyone?
I did assume it was a California based report.....what about all those Prius batteries that are now getting toward the 8 year life cycle?

DON'T ask the Supreme Court to offer an opinion, yesterday's was painful enough. :mad: :!: :shock:
Time for all veteran's groups to visit the funerals also and 'offer a different point of view', peacefully.......
Recycle their signs and offer to lead them back to wherever they come from. It is not the "Yellow Brick Road", Dorothy.
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:30 am

I grew up with oil & wood .... and I'm 5'4". Explain that one away! :gee:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: whistlenut On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:09 am

I'm still 6'2", and have burned coal for nearly 40 years, and wood before that. Lots of wood!! Hey, Freetown Fred, we are out tapping and piping new lines in our spare time.....and wondering why we never had a coal fired arch all these years. Lots of slab wood, or round wood. Most of the BIG GUYS went to oil back in the 60's and 70's, but the liquid gold will be more expensive this season. Oil is $4.00/gallon, syrup is $60+/-. hmmmmmmm. Must be the horses and sleds....making the flatlander's think it is a 'Budweiser film opportunity'.
Key words for visitors to the Sugar House: DON'T eat the yellow snow!!!......unless it is from the 'sugar on snow' pans.
Evening Sleigh Rides through the Sugar Bush.....still something we do in the country! :idea: :roll:

Smitty, it's -4 here right now and the wind is 20 mph....did you go snorkling this AM???? Bad shrinkage day'!!
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:03 pm

My dad grew up in a coal heated house, he's 6'2". I grew up in a wood and fuel heated house, and I'm 5'7". :gee:
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:46 pm

The study was in the Czech Republic? Do they have chimneys or are they still using thatched roofs & the smoke goes out a hole in the ceiling? Their burning might not be all that comparable to our burning. When they mention "cooking with coal" it may well be an open BBQ in the kitchen
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: Berlin On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:45 pm

Correlation isn't causation. While many in eastern europe use some form of solid fuel heating especially coal, only the very poor use solid fuel for cooking. Aditionally, the poorer populations in those areas are typically those who use solid fuels, especially coal, as a primary heat source. In the US people use coal to save money, in europe, while coal is less money than other fuels, there is not the substantial cost savings that exists in the US, it's done because they can't afford to upgrade heating systems, not because the fuel itself saves them substantial amounts of money. In parts of eastern europe, low grade bituminous or subbituminous coal (and sometimes lignite) goes for 100-350USD/ton at the mine. There are too many nutritional and socio-economic factors to consider for any researcher to responsibly lay the blame for short stature on the heating fuel of choice; this study is irresponsible and the conclusions are foolish.

Freddy brings up another important point (although i'm not sure he meant to in this way). Yes, all the homes that i've seen in czech have chimneys and proper venting. This leads to another question of how, exactly, with proper venting, are people being exposed to coal smoke only while using it? Wouldn't the neighbors be exposed as well from ambient air PAH concentrations? Anyone that's been to eastern europe knows that, in the winter, all the towns, villages and cities smell to some extent like coal, and from my own experience there, even the poor have well-built tall chimneys that successfully vent all products of combustion from the heating stoves/ fireplaces (you don't smell it in the homes). This line of thought would lead me to believe that this correlation is simply a result of lower levels of nutrition than any heightened exposure to coalsmoke in the home. This isn't china, the poor in much of eastern europe typically take VERY good care of their living quarters and wouldn't tolerate any soot or dust in their home, which makes it doubtfull that there is any significantly heightened exposure to coal combustion byproducts among those who heat with it. This study admits that it completed no such thorough research, rather, it sent out a questioneer, it didn't measure air quality in homes then compare that data to heating data and stature. Most (if not all) the studies that have been done demonstraiting that coal use in the home is severely detremental to one's health have been done in asia, specifically china. There are two problems attempting to relate that research to anything in the rest of the world (2nd world or 1st). Many chinese coals have undergone mineralization which deposits high levels of arsenic, heavy metals and fluoride into the coal. Then, in china, unlike most of eastern europe, these coals are burned by the vast poor population in unvented heating equiptment, unvented cooking stoves and fill the homes (huts) with soot and smoke as well as the toxic byproducts of their already particularly toxic coals. Almost nowhere else in the world do coals have such high levels of toxins, especially not europe or the US.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: robb On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:49 pm

I read that report too...the total unabridged version says "3rd world" countries also. Those articles stated "poor ventillation" of the appliance as the main cause/reason....If the stove has a proper chimney it will be fine...I have asked numerous doctors since I posted something about coal and respiratory illnesses a few weeks ago.
robb
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 608 stoker

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: wsherrick On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:12 pm

When I was a child my life was greatly affected by Coal. My Dad would point to the back door and say, "Son get off your tail and bring in the Coal."
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: Pacowy On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:05 pm

markviii wrote:My dad grew up in a coal heated house, he's 6'2". I grew up in a wood and fuel heated house, and I'm 5'7". :gee:


Those studies need to be careful to separate correlations from causality. For example, in Rob's case, the study might observe that the height difference he mentions correlates very closely with the difference in height between his 520DF and his dad's Highboy. If the study isn't careful, it might conclude that Rob would be taller if he bought a Highboy. I probably should read the actual study more closely, but I'd be surprised if it accounted adequately for the likelihood that people who live with poorly-ventilated coal equipment may not have the resources to supply their kids with nutrition equivalent to that in other households. Likewise, I'm guessing that it doesn't tell you what would happen to those families if they were forced to rely on more expensive fuels for cooking and heating.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:39 pm

It is ridiculous. The average height of everyone in the USA rose almost a foot in the last 200 years. Most of those years, coal was the primary energy source.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Coal And Kids

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:16 am

My daughter who is almost 4 has been around coal since conception and she is high on the growth chart actually a little above average. Could it be the survey was manipulated to reflect someones agenda . Nah ,That could never happen.
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer