Woodsmoke health risk (opinion letter)

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Woodsmoke health risk (opinion letter)

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:30 am

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Woodsmoke health risk
10:46am Thursday 22nd May 2008

By Reader's letter »

AS a resident of Wombleton village I have great concerns over the planning application submitted by
Land Energy Ltd but more particulary their advertisement in the Gazette & Herald dated Wednesday,
May 7, headed Helmsley trio brings affordable fuel to Ryedale.

Mr John Westmacott, managing director of Land Energy in making cost comparisons with other fuels
as well as wood pellets, should have also stated the overall costs of installing/converting to a wood
burning boiler and its associated equipment, including a chimney flue, storage facilities and hopper
for an average domestic dwelling at between £5,000 and £8,000. This puts into proper perspective
the installation costs of burning this type of fuel.

The meeting to decide this planning application is on June 3 when the planning committee will decide
the future of this part of Wombleton airfield. Their main considerations will be dealt with under the
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which encompasses the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
act 1990.

Although the proposed factory manufacturing plant is not within Wombleton's Conservation area, it is
only a short distance away (approx 600 metres) it should be considered as material in this case and
should not be determined by three businessmen placing advertisements in the local press. Land Energy
Ltd intend to install a wood burning boiler on the proposed factory site for the production of electricity
and also in the manufacturing process.

Their written statement to the planning authority indicates that they intend to burn 12,000 tonnes of
forest brashing per annum to achieve this, which will produce 120 tonnes of wood ash residue which
will be transported to a tip at Rufforth, York. A chimney 11. 8 metres high (nearly 40 feet) will vent the
woodsmoke produced and in my opinion cause significant public health problems, certainly for
Wombleton's community and the other surrounding villages. Wombleton is geographically situated
north of the airfield with the prevailing wind direction being south/south westerly therefore blowing
the products of combustion directly over the village.

Woodsmoke is a natural product but it is by no means benign, indeed there is a growing body of
epidemiological and toxic evidence that proves the adverse impact woodsmoke has on general health.
The pollutants in woodsmoke causing health problems are:

1. Particulate matter,this is the term for solid or liquid particles found in the air. They can be very small
and have the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs causing respiritory and heart related problems.

2. Carbon Monoxide. This is a colourless, odourless gas that is poisonous at high levels interfering with
the delivery of oxegen in the blood around the body.

3. Volatile Organic Compounds, they usually have no colour, taste or smell causing direct health effects
and contributing to the formation of smog.

4. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, these compounds are a particular health concern because of their
potential to cause cancer. The people most at risk are smokers or any person suffering from allergies,
asthma, bronchitis or any other heart or lung related conditions. There is also a phenomenon known
as "Blue Haze". This is caused by an atmospheric condition that can occur when a cool layer of air is
trapped beneath a warm layer of air and is unable to rise, this ceiling leads to a build up of polluted air
close to the ground preventing vertical mixing and dispersion of smoke and other previously mentioned
air pollutants this situation is usually accompanied by little or no wind. It is particulary dangerous to
health as the smoke from the air outside can seep into buildings including homes affecting indoor air

All the foregoing information was obtained from a presentation made in 2004 by the Canandian
Minister for Health in a report entitled IT'S YOUR HEALTH Land Energy have invited people to write
to Ryedale District Council to voice their support for the conversion of the former potato store into a
manufacturing plant for the production of wood pellets. I hope that this article better informs people
regarding the implications of this planning application so that any proposed correspondence with
Ryedale District Council is properly balanced.

PAT LANE, Wombleton

Malton, Ryedale news, sport, farming and tourist information from the Gazette & Herald newspaper (UK)
http://www.gazetteherald.co.uk/news/let ... alth_risk/
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