health impact of residential wood-burning in Upper Austria

Research studies on wood smoke and other air pollution.

health impact of residential wood-burning in Upper Austria

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:15 pm

Estimated health impact of a shift from light fuel to residential wood-burning in Upper Austria
Daniela Haluza1, August Kaiser2, Hanns Moshammer1, Claudia Flandorfer2, Michael Kundi1 and Manfred Neuberger1 ... JES-201207

The dependency on carbon-based fossil energy and growing awareness of climate change issues has induced ambitious policy initiatives to promote renewable energy sources for indoor heating. Combustion of regionally available material such as wood is considered a carbon-neutral alternative for oil and gas, but unregulated revival of wood stoves may cause detrimental health effects. For the prognosis of the health impact of air pollution due to the use of wood stoves, Upper Austria served for a case study. On the basis of recent measurements of particulate matter <10 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and nitrous gases (NOx), we compared the air pollution attributable to present energy mix (termed scenario 1) with two alternatives: For scenario 2, we assumed replacement of light fuel oil by either fossil gas or biomass, and for scenario 3, replacement of light fuel oil by biomass only. Compared with the current exposure from scenario 1, the increased annual mean PM10 levels are estimated to lead to 101 (95% CI 56;146) and 174 (95% CI 92;257) additional deaths among 1.4 million inhabitants per year for scenarios 2 and 3, respectively. Without adequate strategies for reducing the emissions of domestic heating facilities, replacement of fossil energy sources could lead to an increased health risk.


A spatiotemporal land-use regression model of winter fine particulate levels in residential neighbourhoods
Audrey Smargiassi1,2,3, Allan Brand2, Michel Fournier4, François Tessier4, Sophie Goudreau4, Jacques Rousseau5 and Mario Benjamin5 ... JES-201207

Residential wood burning can be a significant wintertime source of ambient fine particles in urban and suburban areas. We developed a statistical model to predict minute (min) levels of particles with median diameter of <1 μm (PM1) from mobile monitoring on evenings of winter weekends at different residential locations in Quebec, Canada, considering wood burning emissions. The 6 s PM1 levels were concurrently measured on 10 preselected routes travelled 3 to 24 times during the winters of 2008–2009 and 2009–2010 by vehicles equipped with a GRIMM or a dataRAM sampler and a Global Positioning System device. Route-specific and global land-use regression (LUR) models were developed using the following spatial and temporal covariates to predict 1-min-averaged PM1 levels: chimney density from property assessment data at sampling locations, PM2.5 “regional background” levels of particles with median diameter of <2.5 μm (PM2.5) and temperature and wind speed at hour of sampling, elevation at sampling locations and day of the week. In the various routes travelled, between 49% and 94% of the variability in PM1 levels was explained by the selected covariates. The effect of chimney density was not negligible in “cottage areas.” The R2 for the global model including all routes was 0.40. This LUR is the first to predict PM1 levels in both space and time with consideration of the effects of wood burning emissions. We show that the influence of chimney density, a proxy for wood burning emissions, varies by regions and that a global model cannot be used to predict PM in regions that were not measured. Future work should consider using both survey data on wood burning intensity and information from numerical air quality forecast models, in LUR models, to improve the generalisation of the prediction of fine particulate levels.
• 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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