Burning Issues

Denial:The ALA is not alone.

Most current publications about asthma do not mention wood smoke or burning habits, nor do new books documenting environmental illness and allergies. The following books are a few of the excellent and important publications about indoor air pollution and exposure. Solid fuel combustion and the resulting sea of daily wood smoke exposure is just not on their radar.

"Asthma: The Complete Guide to Self-management of Asthma and Allergies for Patients and Their Families", 1998, Allan M. Weinstein, M.D., Fawcett Crest, New York, P.357. No mention of wood smoke.

"An Alternative Approach to Allergies", P.311, 1982. T.Randolph and R. Moss, touches on the importance of health effects of home heating, unvented gas appliances, defective gas and oil appliances but does not mention wood burning. (They advocate electric heat.)

"Chemical Exposure and Disease", 1988, P. 259, Janette Sherman, M.D. looks at diagnostic and investigative techniques. She has important associations with fine particulate matter and chemicals (that are found in wood smoke) and their effects on the immune system and contribution to disease but does not look at wood smoke per se.

"Chemical Exposures -Low Levels and High Stakes, 1991 Van Nostrand Reinhold, by N. Ashford and C. Miller discusses the important EPA P TEAM studies on indoor air pollution. This is a fine book that masterfully covers mechanisms of health effects but again falls short in its awareness and subsequent warning about wood smoke. The authors identify all smoke as the second leading cause of work related illness yet discuss smoke in terms of petroleum produced combustion and welding fumes

"Allergic To the Twentieth Century", P. 264, Little Brown, 1997 Author Peter Radetsky is a contributing editor of Discover magazine and teaches in the Science Communication Program at University of California at Santa Cruz. His book "Allergic To the Twentieth Century", P. 264, Little Brown, 1997 tells us about how allergic we have become as a nation yet the extensive index lacks mention of our habits of burning things. Burning that nicks our immune DNA just like tobacco smoke does. Candles, combustion, incense, wood burning, wood smoke are all missing.

"Healthy Homes in a Toxic World", P. 246, Wiley, 1992, M.Breecher, M.P. H. and S. Linde, Ph.D. also falls into the same category. The problem is you cannot find a current or past book published by a major printing house that even mentions the problem. Mary Rozenberg, Nov. 18, 2002


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