Burning Issues

Burning Issues Slide Show - Part 2

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Notice from this EPA data that the most significant sources of particulate pollution are RWB and motor vehicles. Note how little comes from other residential heating sources.

A surprising variety of harmful matter is present in wood smoke in addition to particles. Most people now acknowledge that secondary cigarette smoke is bad because it contains so many of these materials, but don't seem to make the leap to realize that the same pollutants are in wood smoke and that wood smoke is also bad. In fact, the free radicals in wood smoke remain chemically active in the body 40 times longer than the free radicals in cigarette smoke.

A huge amount of wood is burned in the warm climate of the San Francisco Bay. These numbers come from a telephone survey made by the BAAQMD. The corresponding amount of PM10 generated is 17 thousand tons. (Think of it - 17 thousand tons of particles no larger than a red blood cell!)

In many areas the problem of RWB is exacerbated by inversion layers. This is true in the Bay Area where on a typical clear winter evening the inversion layer starts to form at about 4 PM and stays in place at 80 - 100 foot elevation until the early morning, trapping all air pollutants close to the ground.

About 12 percent of your neighbors generate 98 percent of the home heatining particulate pollution.

There has been a lot of favorable publicity given to EPA-approved stoves. These stoves are seen as the great hope of those people who wish to burn. The hope is misguided. The stoves are still hundreds of times more polluting than natural gas, propane or oil. The only answer is to stop RWB .


Burning Issues
Box 1045
Point Arena CA 95468
Tel: 707-882-3601
Email: [pm10mary at mcn dot org]

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