Portland should declare ban on burning wood in fire pits

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Portland should declare ban on burning wood in fire pits

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:36 pm

Posted Yesterday at 4:00 AM

Letter to the editor: Portland should declare ban on burning wood in fire pits

Each year, with the advent of summer, many of us find the need to open windows and turn on fans as we try to stay cool. Summer is also the time when many of our city’s residents engage in the recreational burning of wood in their backyards. It is frequently done with little or no consideration as to where the smoke travels and without regard to their neighbors’ right to breathe clean, fresh air.

Having been assaulted by smoke coming into our home countless times in the past few years, I believe it is time for Portland to consider a ban on the practice. The recreational outdoor burning of wood poses a serious threat to the environment and to the health and welfare of Portland’s residents.

Wood smoke exacerbates the symptoms of respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia. Particulate matter pollution from wood smoke harms healthy people as well, especially children, increasing asthma rates.

Wood smoke contains the same carcinogenic chemicals as cigarette smoke, including benzene, dioxin, formaldehyde, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. And, because wood smoke also contains carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides, it is a major contributor to global warming.

Portland has done a great job in addressing the hazardous effects of second-hand cigarette smoke. With the increasing popularity of backyard fire pits, the time has come for all of us to acknowledge the real dangers of burning wood and take action on a clean air issue we can control. Recreational wood burning does not belong in an urban area.

“Portland. Yes. Life’s good here” – when the air is clean!

Mike Angelone

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/07/08/l ... fire-pits/
• 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!
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