Fire pits like this one expose people to the contaminants...

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Fire pits like this one expose people to the contaminants...

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:33 pm

Fire pits like this one expose people to the contaminants in wood smoke. (Clark Police Department)

Express-Times Letters to the Editor By Express-Times Letters to the Editor
on August 03, 2016 at 9:00 AM, updated August 03, 2016 at 9:07 AM

The proliferation of wood burning fire pits in backyards raises a new health concern. Neighbors are being subjected to the harmful effects of the smoke.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, wood smoke is a complex mixture of gases and microscopic particles that can cause coughs, headaches, eye and throat irritation in otherwise healthy people. It contains carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs and damage the layer of cells in the lungs that protect and cleanse the airways. Anyone with congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma should not be exposed to it — even for short periods.

The particulate matter in wood smoke is so small that even closed windows and doors cannot keep it out. Unlike indoor wood stoves or fireplaces, fire pits do not have chimneys to allow the smoke to rise to high enough levels to prevent exposure.

Cigarette smoking has been banned in most public places because of the dangers of second-hand smoke, yet wood smoke, which is 12 times more carcinogenic than tobacco smoke, is legal for neighbors to breathe in. Wood smoke is chemically active in the body 40 times longer than tobacco smoke, and it lowers the body's immune mechanisms by 20 to 40 percent against fighting infections.

Local ordinances need to be enacted to make it illegal to burn wood fires that are in close enough proximity to neighboring homes to potentially cause the residents health problems.

Patricia Tedesco
Palmer Township

source ... etter.html
• 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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