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Does Wood Burning Have Health Effects?

Burning solid fuel yields particulate pollution - solid particles smaller than a red blood cell which have been implicated in 30,000 deaths in the US and 2.1 million deaths world wide per year. .  "Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our air. ...we know that when particle levels go up, people die1. "   Indeed, wood smoke is chemically active in the body 40 times longer than tobacco2.

1. Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, E Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2002
2. Wm. A Pryor, Persistent Free Radicals in Woodsmoke: An ESR Spin Trapping Study, Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1989, 7(1): 17-21

What Are The Wood Burning Emission Facts?

“Each year, smoke from wood stoves and fireplaces contributes over 420,000 tons of fine particles throughout the country – mostly during the winter months. Nationally, residential wood combustion accounts for 44 percent of total stationary and mobile polycyclic organic matter (POM) emissions and 62 percent of the 7-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are probable human carcinogens and are of great concern to EPA.”3

3. Strategies for Reducing Residential Wood Smoke. EPA Document # EPA-456/B-09-001, September 2009. Prepared by Outreach and Information Division, Air Quality Planning Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711. pp. 4-5.

The Importance of Clean Air

Clean Air Revival provides public education about the medical hazards of exposure to wood smoke and other fine particulate pollution. Smoke from residential burning of wood and coal, wood burning restaurants and outdoor burning of wood, leaves, crops, tires and debris is permeating our neighborhoods, resulting in high ground level concentrations of toxic air pollution.

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