Science: Cooper's Paper, pg. 6

A recent wood use survey in the Portland-Vancouver Interstate AQMA estimated that 4600 tons of particulates were emitted into the airshed from RWC in 1978. This would have accounted for 920 tons of mostly respirable particulates in the month of January, as noted in Table IX, which typically accounts for 20% of the heating load. This is 70 tons greater than the 850 tons of respirable (<2.5 pm) particulates emitted by all other sources in January} The emissions of CO from RWC (17,400 tons) would be about one fourth the CO from transportation sources in January and might possibly equal transportation sources on an unusually cold weekend. Also of concern are the 220 tons of priority pollutants, 160 tons of POMs, 21 tons of carcinogenic material, and 1.4 tons of benz0(a)pyrene emitted annually from this source. These data for Portland, the direct measurements by Cooper, et al(3) and the surveys in other parts of the country during the latter part of the 1970s indicate strongly that RWC is a major air pollution source relative to current standards and is likely to be even more significant relative to new standards as the emissions from this source increase.

The new ambient air quality standards which are currently being considered by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency are intended to reflect more accurately the impact of pollution on health. An inhalable particulate standard is presently being considered and there is a possibility that specific chemical species such as the recently established lead standard, might be considered, in addition to a new visibility standard.65 The inhalable standard is intended to relate to those particles which have the highest probability of entering the respiratory tract. Emissions from RWC sources will represent a much larger fraction of this new standard than it does the current total suspended particulate (TSP) standard. RWC emissions are all in the inhalable size range, while the TSP standard includes large particles which would be excluded from the new standard. Thus, if nothing is done to reduce this source of inhalable particulates, and it continues to grow at its current rate, it will likely be one of the more significant contributors to any nonattainment of a new inhalable particulate or visibility standard by the time it is promulgated.


Emissions from residential wood combustion appliances are a major source of winter air pollution in a large part of the country. These emissions, if allowed to increase, will likely have a significant impact on:

  • public health;
  • current and future EPA standards; .
  • industrial growth; and
  • EPA regulatory policy.

In addition a greatly improved understanding of the extent of the problem is required along with the ability to monitor changing impact trends resulting from improved appliances and/or regulations.


Thanks is extended to John Rau, Oregon Graduate Center, for his assistance with calculations and his many helpful discussions.


1. J, A. Cooper, J. G. Watson, and J. J. Huntzicker, "Summary of the Portland Aerosol Characterization Study (PACS)." Presented at the June 1979 meeting of Air Pollution Control Association in Cincinnati; also Final Report summary to the Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality, April 23, 1979.

2. J. A. Cooper, L. A. Currie, and G. A. Klouda, "Application of Carbon-14 Measurements to Impact Assessment of Contemporary Carbon Sources on Urban Air Quality" to be Published.

3. J. A. Cooper, L. A. Currie, and G. A. Klouda, "Evaluation of Carbon-14 as a Unique Tracer to Determine the Maximum lmpact on Contemporary Carbon Sources of Atmospheric Particulates to the Portland and Eugene Airsheds," final report to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality by the Oregon Graduate enter, July 25, 1979. ,

4. Statistical Abstracts of the United States 1975, U. S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., July 1975. 1050

5. Current Housing Reports; Bureau 0/ the Census Final Report H-150- 75; Annual housing Survey: 1975, Part A. General Housing Characteristics for the United States and Regions. U. S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D. C., April 1977. 270 pp.

6. D. G. DeAngelis, "Source Assessment: Residential Combustion of Wood," a draft copy of a Monsanto report to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency under Contract Number 68-021874, October 1978.

7. New York Times (May 23,1979).

8. Oregonian p.3m,(Nov. 12,1978).

9. American Forests (Oct. 1978). Publication of the American Forestry Association, special section, "Wood for Energy."

10. President Carter's April 5, 1979, energy address to the nation.

11. Oregon Journal, p. 13, (Aug. 3, 1979).

12. L. S. Craig, "Residential Wood Survey," memo containing the results of a state and area wood use survey conducted by MA Research Corp. in the winter of 1979.

13. R. E. Hatchard, and T. E. Day of Talbott Wong & Associates, Inc., letter report on survey of Portland AOMA to Peter B. Bosserman of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Dec. 20, 1979. Personal communication with Bill Green, Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality, Jan. 15, 1980.

14. C. L. Hatch, F. G. Odell, and H. L. Riley, "Medford-Ashland Air Quality Maintenance Area Analysis," Seton, Johnson and Odell, Inc., Portland, OR, Report Oct. 20, 1976.

15. Otis, "Wood Burning and Particulate Air Pollution in the Missoula Valley", a report from the Missoula City County Health Department, Air Pollution Control Division, Missoula, MT, Sept.

16. J. A. Cooper, "Medford Aerosol Characterization Study (MACS)," Interim Report to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Nov. 30, 1979.

17. J. R. Duncan, . M. Morkin, and M. P. Schmierback, "Air Quality Impact Potential from Residential Wood-Burning Stoves," Tennessee Valley Authority report from the Division of Natural Resources Services, Muscle Shoals, AL, Feb. 1979.

18. S. S. Butcher, and E. M. Sorenson, "A study of wood stove particulate emissions," JAPCA 29: 724 (1979).

19. A. E. Romero, R. M. Buchman, and D. G. Fox, "A study of air pollution from fireplace emissions at Vail Ski Resort," J. Environental Health 41: 117 (Oct. 1978).

20. M. M. Dalton, O. B. Durcgin, J. H. Herrington, and R. A. Andrews, "Household Fuel Wood Use and Procurement in New Hampshire," University of New Hampshire research report Number 59, Oct. 1977.

Table VIII. Comparison of emissions from selected residential space heating, power generation, and transportation sources. Click for the popup. popup


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