Yet another PhD for the Faculty of Natural Sciences

Dr Buthelezi

The University is once again welcoming a new PhD. This time, it is Sikhumbuzo Archibald Buthelezi, a senior lecturer in the Department of Environmental Health. Dr Buthelezi’s degree is in air quality management. In his thesis entitled, The risk of exposure to indoor air pollution in low-income settlement in Durban, South Africa, the promovendus focused on indoor air pollution (IAP) in low-income settlement of Umlazi Township.

Dr Buthelezi argues that indoor climatic conditions in some dwellings exceeded the international guideline to protect human health. Dr Buthelezi discovered that some households used ‘dirty’, non-electric fuels indoors which contributed to indoor air pollution and caused health-related problems. “Wheezing and hay fever were the most commonly reported respiratory infections as a result of this type of pollution,” said Dr Buthelezi.

Dr Buthelezi used an Indoor Air Quality Risk (IAQR) tool to consider air exchange, ventilation and a rating of health exposure risk. Low air exchange rates were in part attributed to inadequate ventilation in the low-income dwellings. Buthelezi believes the body of knowledge generated by this investigation will contribute to a deeper understanding of indoor climatic conditions that inhabitants are exposed to in low-income dwellings.

“The findings of this study will enhance the gaps identified in the Guidelines for the Management of Domestic Indoor Air Quality in low-income settlements,” said Dr Buthelezi. Dr Buthelezi received his qualification from the University of Pretoria.