Arts & Sciences
Peru - Characterization of exposures to particulate matter concentrations in a developing country city undergoing a rapid epidemiological transition
The past century has observed rapid urbanization of populations in low- and middle-income countries, posing a considerable public health challenge. This major demographic shift has resulted in an equally rapid emergence of non-communicable diseases in the developing world. Elevated exposure to ambient air pollution, especially in the form of particulate matter (PM), is largely responsible for the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases in these populations. However, in Peru as in other countries in Latin America, there is a paucity of information regarding the effects of urbanization on environmental health exposures and consequently on the development of non-communicable diseases, especially in disadvantaged populations. Our study site, the city of Puno, Peru, and surrounding rural areas, is a particularly suitable location to study the changes in exposure to PM resulting from the rural-to-urban transition. The aims of this study are: 1) Estimate daily levels of exposure to particulate matter in both an urban city center in Peru and its surrounding rural communities, 2) Compare different methods of measuring exposure in these areas, and 3) Determine household and individual factors associated with higher levels of exposure.
Global Health Mentor: William Checkley, MD
Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine International