Two decades ago, kerosene stoves were a common sight in most Nigerian homes. It was an upgrade from using charcoal to cook. Kerosene stove was able to get the job done with less mess than the charcoal stove. Kerosene stoves were everywhere. But there have been concerns over the years about the health effects of using kerosene stoves. This has made people seek alternatives like a gas cooker and electric cooker.
Whatever advantage or benefit kerosene stoves have does not compare to the adverse health effects associated with them. In today’s post, we would be looking at some of the health effects of using a kerosene stove.
1. Respiratory Problems
The first thing to note about using a kerosene stove is that it is a major source of air pollution in the home. Kerosene fumes are very dangerous to inhale as they contain toxins, like hydrocarbons, that could affect the respiratory system. This could make breathing difficult and could lead to other respiratory problems. The soot from the fumes could even damage the lungs, leading to serious medical conditions, like lung cancer. For people with asthma, the kerosene stove fumes could trigger a serious attack. According to a 2020 study, using kerosene stoves can cause many respiratory problems.
Air pollution caused by fuels like kerosene increases the risk of pneumonia, especially in young children. It accounts for 45% of pneumonia deaths in children less than 5 and 28% of pneumonia deaths in adults.
Kerosene fumes irritate the face, causing watery eyes, blurred vision, runny nose, and so on. The way it affects the eyes, it could grow to become a more serious problem if not handled properly. This could lead to eye defects and could force the person to start using glasses or seek other forms of treatment.
4. Affects The Nervous System
Fumes from a kerosene stove affect the brain, which in turn could affect the central nervous system. This could lead to cases of convulsion, drowsiness, loss of mental alertness, and so on.
How to stay safe while using kerosene stoves
If you own a kerosene stove, you do not have to throw it out just yet. You just need to follow certain tips to keep you and your household safe from the adverse effects of the stove you use.
1. Properly Ventilate Your Kitchen
Make sure the windows of your kitchen are open when you cook. Using kerosene stoves in a closed room can be very risky. Make sure as much air is coming in to reduce the risk of air pollution. If you can, you can leave the doors open as well. Using your kerosene stove in an airy room would protect you from a lot of danger.
2. Buy Only Good Kerosene
Using adulterated kerosene could worsen the health effects you get from using a kerosene stove. Besides bearing the risk of being explosive, adulterated kerosene could cause serious irritation to the nose and eyes, making breathing difficult and damaging the eyes. Make sure you get kerosene from reliable sources to avoid coming in contact with the adulterated kind.
If you can afford it, you should make the switch to a gas cooker or electric cooker, as these two sources are safer for your health with fewer adverse effects.