Leaf-burning in Auburn Hills making family sick, woman says

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Leaf-burning in Auburn Hills making family sick, woman says

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:15 pm

Leaf-burning in Auburn Hills making family sick, woman says (Michigan)
Community's rules ignored, she says
BY MELANIE D. SCOTT • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • November 15, 2008

Laura Amatulli says her Auburn Hills neighborhood is making her and her family sick -- and she blames the thick,
black smoke from leaf burning for the family's ailments.

Her 3-year-old son Luke "has a horrible rash on his face" after using his nebulizer twice a day to try to control
the increased asthma flare-ups caused by the smoke. And her 9-year-old son Dominic is "having a lot of asthma
attacks" since leaf burning started in October, she said.

A teacher at Avondale Meadows Upper Elementary School in Rochester Hills, Amatulli said she's called in sick
a few times after the smoke aggravated her allergies, causing her to have severe headaches and to lose her
voice because of a sore throat and chest congestion.

"This has been the worst year since we moved here because it seems like there is a growing population of
people who are ignoring the law," said Amatulli, who moved to Auburn Hills in 2000. "People are burning leaves
on off days and during the night. Nobody tickets them. I can't get a straight answer from the city."

Auburn Hills is one of a few Detroit-area communities that allows its residents to burn leaves in the fall.
Bingham Farms, also in Oakland County, allows open burning of leaves and grass clippings year-round, as long
as the fires are not too close to homes and a water source is readily available, officials said.

In Washington and Armada townships and several other northern Macomb County communities, residents are
allowed to burn leaves at certain times of the year if they obtain a permit from the fire department.

Wayne County residents are banned from burning leaves because the communities follow the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality recommendations against open burning. Since 1995, the DEQ has
prohibited burning leaves and grass clippings in municipalities with populations of 7,500 or more, unless
burning already was authorized by a local ordinance.

According to the DEQ, burning leaves releases fine particles, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into the air
that are particularly harmful to children and people with allergies, asthma or heart disease.

"Any type of smoke is a bad irritant for someone with asthma. In fact, smoke can affect any asthma patient,"
said Robert Czarnecki, a doctor at the Allergy and Asthma Center of Rochester. "Burning leaves can affect
people with allergies, especially if the leaves were wet for a while because they may have mold or mold spores.
Burning them can reintroduce the mold into the air."

Open burning is a convenience to many residents in Auburn Hills because the city does not offer trash hauling
or composting services. Residents are required to arrange for their own services, said Stephanie Carroll,
coordinator for Community Relations and Legislative Affairs for Auburn Hills.

Washington Township recently hired a trash hauling service that picks up yard waste.

But leaf burning makes it easier for Auburn Hills residents like Bill Moden, who has to get rid of leaves from
more than 20 trees on his property.

"If I didn't burn them, I would be bagging them forever," said Moden, 59, who has lived in Auburn Hills for
55 years. "I have an acre of land and the trees are along the border. I like burning leaves because it's a part
of fall and the smell reminds me of my childhood."

In Auburn Hills, residents are allowed to burn leaves four days a week from dawn until dusk through Nov. 30.
But Amatulli says some of her neighbors are burning leaves well into the night and on off days.

"I can walk around my neighborhood and find fires unattended," said Amatulli, 38, who has reported her
neighbors several times. "It's completely dangerous.

"I have been calling about the violations and even after I call the authorities, the violators are still burning."

Auburn Hills Deputy Fire Chief John Burmeister said the department has investigated complaints by Amatulli
and other residents.

"We ask our residents to be considerate of others, but if we receive complaints, we may ask people to put
their fires out," he said.

Contact MELANIE D. SCOTT at 248-351-3681 or mdscott@freepress.com.

source
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti ... 8811150334
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Postby Wilberforce » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:30 pm

                                               From the above article:

Image
Laura Amatulli, 38, gives her son Lucas, 3, a breathing treatment Friday. "What is hard
about putting them in a bag for pickup?" she asked. Another Auburn Hills resident said
bagging leaves takes too long.
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Sad

Postby smartin » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:18 pm

I know this was posted a while back, but I'm new here and am exploring...

I just spoke to a neighbor of mine, who shared that he just may start to burn wood to heat his home, due to the rising price of gas. I had materials in my hand to share with him from the Lung Association, State of Michigan, etc. He flat-out refused to to take them. He said. "I burn wood on my farm." I replied, "It doesn't mean that it is safe." He then shared that we live in polluted Detroit, and that there is no reason to be so careful. I told him that I have lived here all of my life and haven't gotten a headache from the factory.

People are plain lazy and defensive when they hear that what they are doing is bad. Unfortunately, many of these people are uneducated.

I feel terrible about the leaf burning. The man who has an acre of land shouldn't be obsessing about his land that much. What happened to letting wooded areas be wooded?
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Postby turning_blue » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:45 pm

I know educated people that burn wood. People enjoy it like it's their tobacco. They do not care who it's hurting, even their own children.

By the way, welcome smartin!!
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Postby Wilberforce » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:55 pm

Hi

I also live in the Detroit Metro area.

My dad thinks this picture may have been taken in SW Detroit, near the Ford
Rouge Steel Plant (?) I was driving by there on I-94 last week, and it looked
just like this picture, only worse! My brother knows people living in that area.
Snow in their yard sometimes becomes gray from the soot and fly ash.

__________Image_________
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Why don't you offer to help your neighbor clean up?

Postby Iliketoburntoo » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:23 am

In today's all too lawyer/emotion/NIMBY world, people don't know how to be a good neighbor.

I understand your child has issues, I understand your neighbor cannot possibly bag everything himself....why don't you two get together and bag the leaves together? Everybody wins...

Look at the picture of Detroit posted here...that's what you need to worry about, not ban leaf burning. Fix your local problem with your neighbor rather than try to convince us all that we're bad people.l
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Postby turning_blue » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:52 pm

Anyone who knowingly harms another, is not a good human being. People need to be held accountable if they are causing harm to others, especially if they are aware of the fact. If I were burning, and my neighbor told me that my smoke was bothering them in any way, I would simply STOP. That's what any reasonable, halfway decent human being would do. It's that simple. How "essential", in the 21st century, is burning of any kind anyway?
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Postby Wilberforce » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:55 pm

If people with a lot of trees on their property refuse to bag leaves themselves,
they have a number of options available:

● Hire some kids in the neighborhood to do it (every kid needs a job)

● Chop down the trees if they can't take care of them

● Sell the property to someone who can

● Compost the leaves by burying them (excellent fertilizer for a garden)

● Burning takes just as much time as bagging. I know because I've done both.
   It's just that burning is more fun! (people need the exercise anyway)

Yes neighborhoods can look like the above picture. We used to burn leaves in
Detroit in the early 1960s, and the smoke was this bad. Yes we are worried
about the industrial pollution, too. About a year ago, a poster here was
complaining that I "pick on wood-burning." Well yes, but I also "pick on"
diesel, cars, coal, tobacco, industry, and anything else which contributes to
toxic air quality. I am an equal opportunity "pick on-er" when it comes to
air pollution.
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Postby Iliketoburntoo » Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:44 pm

Woodnyet wrote:If people with a lot of trees on their property refuse to bag leaves themselves,
they have a number of options available:

● Hire some kids in the neighborhood to do it (every kid needs a job)

● Chop down the trees if they can't take care of them

● Sell the property to someone who can

● Compost the leaves by burying them (excellent fertilizer for a garden)

● Burning takes just as much time as bagging. I know because I've done both.
   It's just that burning is more fun! (people need the exercise anyway)

Yes neighborhoods can look like the above picture. We used to burn leaves in
Detroit in the early 1960s, and the smoke was this bad. Yes we are worried
about the industrial pollution, too. About a year ago, a poster here was
complaining that I "pick on wood-burning." Well yes, but I also "pick on"
diesel, cars, coal, tobacco, industry, and anything else which contributes to
toxic air quality. I am an equal opportunity "pick on-er" when it comes to
air pollution.


I see you haven't taken my post to heart - you obviously like to tell others what they can/can't do, whether or not it is legal. You would like everyone to use your warped yardstick to measure what is right and proper behavior.

Not once have you talked about what you would do to help the situation, making my point all the more clear.

For every person like you guys who want someone to bag the leaves
or cut the trees down, or move out of their property, there are others who will say don't bury it in a landfill, don't harm the trees, don't sell the land to a developer.

So you are an equal opportunity critic...how about some critical feedback for those who forget the constitutional laws protecting our land and our freedoms.

Better yet, how about if ol' blue moves instead of the guy that has the trees? Didn't see that suggestion...but not in MY backyard.
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Postby Wilberforce » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:33 pm

OK I've got one for you: "Mr. Freedom"

Does the U.S. Constitution guarantee you the right to harm others?
That is, obviously you have zero compassion for the little boy, right?

Well sir, (with all due respect) I am sincerely embarrassed to share this country with you.
In my America, we respect one another's rights to be free from undue harm and tyranny.

Who really needs to "move out" here?
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Postby Wilberforce » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:34 pm

Iliketoburntoo wrote:Not once have you talked about what you would do to help the situation, making my point all the more clear.


Oye... that's right; I got "off the track"... What's the solution to this quandary?

But firstly... Let us examine our consciences...

Time to realize that things we did in the past may have been wrong...

Time to get over this immature juvenile fascination with conflagration...

Time to leave the primitive cave-man enchantment of "burning stuff" alone,
in respectful memory of our ancient ancestors...

Time to grow up and appreciate the more important things in life...

The onus is on the burner to simply stop burning leaves.
The only thing I am obligated to do is to ask that they stop dumping the toxic waste into the air.
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Re: Leaf-burning in Auburn Hills making family sick, woman says

Postby oregonair » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:39 pm

I just joined this forum today and am amazed at the wealth of information here.
My neighbors burn leaves and every fall I suffer.
Thank you for helping me learn about the danger and how to protect myself.
I have also met some helpful friends on Facebook.
Keep up the good work.

Bill Sullivan Oregon
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Re: Leaf-burning in Auburn Hills making family sick, woman says

Postby Seecurt » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:57 am

I realize this is an old thread, but I failed to see one mention of mulching as an option. I used to burn myself and have found that mulching is truly to easiest way to deal with leaves.
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Re: Leaf-burning in Auburn Hills making family sick, woman says

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:38 pm

Hi there

It looks as though this leaf-burning problem has been (partially) solved by this new state law:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=5333

Thanks for your comment and for visiting our air pollution bulletin board. Please tell your friends about us! :D
• 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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