PM-2.5 Health Watch-No Burn Day issued for Monday

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PM-2.5 Health Watch-No Burn Day issued for Monday

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:38 pm

PM-2.5 Health Watch-No Burn Day issued for Monday

MARICOPA COUNTY (January 13, 2013) - The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is issuing a Health Watch for fine particulate matter pollution (PM-2.5) for Monday, January 14, 2013. As a result, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department will issue No Burn Day restrictions, which includes a ban on woodburning activity including fireplaces, fire pits or open outdoor burning. This is the fourth consecutive No Burn Day.

The purpose of No Burn Day restrictions is to avoid adding pollution to our air when the forecast suggests air quality will approach or exceed the federal health standard. Fireplace pollution is something within our control. Take action by putting these pollution prevention resources and tips into your daily routine.

“We are still experiencing winter weather conditions such as, extremely cold temperatures, stagnant air, relatively low wind and winter inversions, which trap fine particulate pollution close to the ground,” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Bill Wiley said. “We need everyone’s help to keep from creating bad air that hurts the people we care about.”

Residents must refrain from burning wood, trash or other materials in their fireplace, woodstove or outdoor fire pit during this 24-hour period. This restriction includes those who have burn permits for open burning.

This health watch includes the following restrictions:

Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and outdoor fire pits.
Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit Valley Metro: or call 602-253-5000.
Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.

To learn more about the air you’re breathing, visit:

Please take note that approved residential woodburning devices or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved devices such as gas fireplaces, gas logs and pellet stoves, are permitted.

PARTICULATE MATTER BACKGROUND: State and county agencies measure PM-10 and PM-2.5 which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found circulating in the air. PM, or particulate matter, comes from either combustion (cars, industry, woodburning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM are typically created when the air is especially stagnant or especially windy.

PM-10 stands for particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less. PM-2.5 stands for particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less. To put this in perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.

"Health Watch" means the highest concentration of pollution may approach the federal health standard. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion during a health watch.

"High Pollution Advisory" or "HPA" means the highest concentration of pollution may exceed the federal health standard. Active children, adults and people with lung disease such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Maricopa County employers enlisted in the Trip Reduction Program are asked to activate their HPA plans on high pollution advisory days.

About Maricopa County Air Quality Department

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department is a regulatory agency whose goal is to ensure federal clean air standards are achieved and maintained for the residents and visitors of Maricopa County. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act.

The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Visit to learn more.



Voice your problems regarding wood-burning Thursday

According to Jay Furfaro’s legislative assistant, “On Behalf of Chair Jay Furfaro, this is to inform you that the Kaua‘i County Council will receive a briefing from the County Attorney at the Thursday, January 17, 2013 County Council Meeting on the County’s authority to implement legislation relating to air pollution control as it relates to fireplaces and other wood-burning appliances and an overview of the State Clean Air Branch rules relating to air pollution control. This briefing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. or soon thereafter.”

I believe that anyone that is bothered by, sickened by, or who can’t breathe due to this problem on our Island to attend and state their problems with wood-burning fireplaces that affect you as it has affected us in our neighborhood for years.

The meeting takes place in Lihu‘e at the County Council building (old courthouse).

Lori MacDonald

source ... f887a.html



A group of scientists currently conducting research with regard to the environmental impact from the increased use of fireplaces and wood-brning stoves, have announced some early findings, Skai reported on Friday.

A first systematic research conducted on Wednesday revealed that the concentration of particulates in the atmosphere reached up to 300 micrograms per cubic meter of air in Athens. The highest levels were recorded from 10 pm to midnight. The research project will run to February 10.

Over the part few weeks, scientists working together with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), have been warning over the health risks linked to the increasing use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves by those looking to cut down on heating bills, warning that burning wood at home releases 30 times more air pollution than using a well-maintained heating oil or gas-burning boiler.

So far, high levels of smog have been detected in the port of Patra in the Peloponese and the northern port city of Thessaloniki, as well as in certain parts of the Attica region, particularly in Penteli and areas situated at the foot of Mount Hymettus.
Source: ... h-reveals/

Dec 22
EPA, Valley Air District PM 2.5 standards separate and unequal

By Alan Kandel on December 22, 2012 in Air pollution, Clean up, Particulates

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Dec. 14, 2012 announced it had adopted a national ambient air quality standard for annual fine particle pollution (particulate matter pollution 2.5 micrometers in diameter or PM 2.5) of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air. On Thurs., Dec. 20, 2012, almost one week later, California’s San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) for the eight-county Valley followed suit and approved a 20-micrograms-per-cubic-meter-of-air fine-particle-pollution standard.

As I understand it, the EPA standard is “projected” to be met in all but seven of America’s more than 3,000 counties by the 2020 target date. The seven counties projected to not meet the federal standard are all located in California, three of those being in the San Joaquin Valley.

What I have learned since the posting earlier of three related articles, the EPA standard is an annual standard whereas the standard for the Valley is not; it is a daily health standard, which means anytime the 20 micrograms per cubic meter of air threshold for PM 2.5 is exceeded, the presumption is that burning wood in Valley fireplaces and woodstoves, will be prohibited. For residents who have no other way to heat their homes, via special permitting provisions, they will be permitted to use fireplaces or woodstoves on exceedance days, that is, according to how I interpret applicable language.

Besides this, the presumption is that as long as the 20 micrograms per cubic meter of air standard for PM 2.5 in the Valley is not exceeded, then fireplace and woodstove wood-burning is allowed. The problem with this as I see it, is that the air in Valley counties during wintertime weather patterns is frequently stagnant – or, at least, that’s the way it’s been in the past. So, assuming this still holds true, in areas of relative high population concentration, that is, with enough fireplaces and woodstoves going at the same time, when the air is stagnant, logic would have it that the likelihood is high the 20 micrograms per cubic meter of air standard will be violated in relative short order. Remember, there are currently roughly 4 million residents Valleywide.

Back to the target date issue, remembering for the EPA and SJVAPCD these are 2020 and 2019, respectively. As a less stringent PM 2.5 Valley standard compared to that of the EPA’s, and even though the federal agency’s standard is for annual ambient air quality of PM 2.5 versus a daily air standard in the Valley, it is difficult to see how the entire Valley will be able to meet the more stringent federal standard.

So the point is, if under such circumstances fireplace and woodstove activity is, in fact, what pushes PM 2.5 over the limit and the standard is therefore exceeded, at issue then will be recovery time, or in other words, the time it takes before air in the Valley returns to safe breathing levels to the point where once again, fireplace and woodstove wood burning is allowed to resume. All this has the appearance of being a paradox.

Could it be with this very thing in mind that there exists the distinct possibility that the outright banning of woodburning could be in effect all winter long in sizable Valley cities?

That residential and commercial wood burning may be stopped periodically is one thing. Meeting the national standard is quite another. ... d-unequal/


More burn bans issued as air pollution levels rise in W. Wash.
By KOMO Staff Published: Jan 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM PST


SEATTLE - Burn bans have been issued in four Western Washington counties as cold, stagnant weather conditions persist in the Puget Sound lowlands.

A Stage 2 burn ban - which prohibits use of woodstoves, pellet stoves or fireplaces - takes effect at noon Sunday in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. A Stage 2 ban also took effect at 10 a.m. Sunday in Thurston County.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency says the bans were triggered by rising air pollution levels. The bans are in effect until further notice.

During a Stage 2 burn ban:

• No burning is allowed in any wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves or fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves.

• Residents should rely instead on their home’s other, cleaner source of heat (such as their furnace or electric baseboard heaters) for a few days until air quality improves, the public health risk diminishes and the ban is cancelled. The only exception is if a wood stove is a home’s only adequate source of heat.

• No outdoor fires are allowed. This includes recreational fires such as bonfires, campfires and the use of fire pits and chimineas. The Seattle Parks Department also specifically prohibits beach fires at Alki and Golden Gardens during the burn ban.

Burn ban violations are subject to a $1,000 penalty.

It is OK to use natural gas and propane stoves or inserts during a Stage 2 burn ban.

The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors, especially when exercising. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse.

Air pollution is especially harmful to people with lung and heart problems, people with diabetes, children, and older adults (over age 65).

source ... 96971.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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