Sadiq Khan calls for ban on wood-burning stoves

News related to particulate air pollution.

Moderator: turning_blue

Sadiq Khan calls for ban on wood-burning stoves

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:26 pm

Air pollution: Sadiq Khan calls for ban on wood-burning stoves

London mayor cites figures showing that the home stoves, used in 16% of households, produce up to a third of all the capital’s fine-particle pollution

Wood-burning stoves could be banned in some areas to combat air pollution under proposals by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Khan has written to Michael Gove, the environment secretary, to request extra powers to improve air quality in the capital, including measures to tackle solid-fuel burning and construction pollution. The proposed measures include minimum emissions standards for vessels on London’s waterways and heavy construction machinery like diggers and bulldozers.

Wood-burning stoves, which would be banned under the proposals for urban areas with poor air quality, are increasingly popular – 1.5m have been sold across Britain. They are most popular in south-east England, where 16% of households have them, compared with 5% nationally.

It is estimated that between a quarter and a third of all of London’s fine-particle pollution comes from domestic wood burning. In January, during a period of very high air pollution, it contributed half the toxic emissions in some areas of the capital, according to King’s College London research.

Khan said: “Non-transport sources contribute half of the deadly emissions in London, so we need a hard-hitting plan of action to combat them similar to moves I am taking to reduce pollution from road vehicles.

“With more than 400 schools located in areas exceeding legal pollution levels, and such significant health impacts on our most vulnerable communities, we cannot wait any longer, and I am calling on government to provide the capital with the necessary powers to effectively tackle harmful emissions from a variety of sources.”

The mayor has asked the environment department to amend the Clean Air Act to allow for the creation of zero-emission zones where the burning of solid fuel is not allowed from 2025 onwards.

When asked to comment on Khan’s letter, a Defra spokesperson told the Guardian: “We are determined to improve air quality and have put in place a £3bn plan to reduce roadside emissions.

“Next year we will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will address all sources of air pollution. We are also raising consumer awareness about the impact of burning wood on health and working with industry to help reduce harmful emissions.”

The mayor’s proposals come after he triggered London’s emergency air quality alert on Wednesday for the seventh time in thirteen months. Polluted air from the continent combined with toxic air in London to create dangerous levels of pollution.

source ... ing-stoves

Wood-burning stove ban will not be enforced against householders

Focus of London mayor’s proposed ban will be on educating owners not to burn wood during bad air quality episodes

Sadiq Khan’s proposed ban on wood-burning stoves in the most-polluted areas of London will not be enforced against householders and will only be in operation at certain times of the year.

Under the mayor of London’s plans, the stoves would be occasionally banned from use in zones in the capital from 2025 and UK-wide laws blocking the sale of all but the newest, cleanest stoves from 2022 would be brought in earlier.

In an attempt to reassure the thousands of Londoners who bought the stoves in good faith, the focus will be on educating owners not to burn wood during bad air quality episodes. Authorities will reserve enforcement for commercial users such as hotels.

There are about 1.5m stoves in the UK and 200,000 are sold annually, with the appliances often marketed as a green form of home heating.

However, there has been growing concern over their environmental impact. Researchers at King’s College London have found that wood-burning in the capital accounts for up to 31% of the city’s particulate pollution, up from 10% in the past.

The tiny particles, known as PM2.5, are the most harmful type of air pollution and exacerbate lung and heart conditions.

Khan has called for greater powers from government to act on wood-burning after he discovered it contributed half of the pollution during a dirty air episode in January.

“Non-transport sources contribute half of the deadly emissions in London so we need a hard-hitting plan of action to combat them similar to moves I am taking to reduce pollution from road vehicles,” he said.

The Green party and campaigners said the mayor was right to tackle emissions from the stoves.

ClientEarth, a group that has won court battles against the government on pollution, said the the stoves combined with diesel car emissions in winter to create a “toxic soup”.

“A lot of people don’t realise that wood-burning has an impact on air quality, particularly in urban areas,” said Alan Andrews, a lawyer at the firm.

However, there are questions over how practical it would be to enforce the proposed ban.

The government website on smoke control zones warns of a £1,000 fine for people using unauthorised stoves. However, the Guardian understands that not a single fine was issued in London over the past year.

“A big problem here is a lack of enforcement of the Clean Air Act,” said Dennis Milligan of the Stove Industry Alliance. He said that open fires, which the act prohibits in many towns and cities, were the real problem contributing to London’s dirty air.

“I totally disagree with him on banning stuff,” said Milligan, adding he had been trying to speak to Khan all year about his members’ support for cleaner stoves but Friday’s announcement was the first he had heard of plans for a ban. The mayor’s office did not deny the claim.

Khan has written to Michael Gove, the environment secretary, asking him to amend the Clean Air Act to give him the powers to create zones where the burning of solid fuels such as wood is banned.

The move could affect wood-burning stove owners beyond London, too. The mayor’s office said he supported the amendment being made in a way that such powers were given to all cities, not just the capital. Secondly, Khan is calling for new EU standards mandating cleaner, lower emission stoves to be brought in earlier than 2022, when they are planned to come into force. The Stove Industry Alliance said its members had begun selling “Ecodesign-ready” stoves in February.

Wood-burning has been increasing across the UK, with a 2015 government survey finding consumption in homes had been significantly underestimated. It is most popular in the south-east and south-west of the country.
Wood-burning – what you can and can’t do

• Most large towns and cities in the UK are covered by a smoke control zone, which prohibits the use of open fires

• However, certain stoves approved by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can be used to burn wood in those zones

• From 2025 in zero emission zones created in London’s most polluted areas even approved stoves will be banned from use during certain times of year.

source ... useholders
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
User avatar
Posts: 6098
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:36 pm
Location: USA

Return to News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests