Woodstove usage studied in Valley

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Woodstove usage studied in Valley

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:02 pm

Woodstove usage studied in Valley
Canvassers from the Alberni Air Quality Society will be giving away free moisture metres while conducting a door-to-door study on woodstove usage. - SUBMITTED PHOTO

by Staff Writer - Alberni Valley News
Port Alberni posted Feb 16, 2017 at 9:00 AM

The Alberni Air Quality Society will be visiting neighbourhoods this week, door to door, with a woodstove usage survey in hopes of getting a better understanding of wood heating appliance usage and perceptions of air quality.

According to a press release from the society, health researchers have been looking at the effects of woodsmoke on people since the 1980s and a growing number of studies are finding the same thing.

Children living in homes with woodstoves are more likely to have shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks, disrupted sleep, inflamed respiratory tracts and pneumonia. Anyone with heart or lung conditions, especially older people, are also more at risk. Breathing in smoky air can make symptoms worse.

Levels of the fine particles from woodsmoke go up during the winter in the Alberni Valley, states the press release. These levels of fine particulate matter in the Valley have been found to exceed the provincial objectives up to 40 per cent of the time during the coldest months of the year. The cumulative impacts of many sources of wood smoke can result in degraded air quality within a neighbourhood.

Anywhere from 40 to 70 per cent of the pollution in the air outside a home ends up indoors. Using a certified HEPA air filter can help reduce indoor levels of fine particulates. If you use a woodstove, Alberni’s Air Quality Society urges people to burn only dry wood; collect the wood in the spring, stack it outdoors and let it dry throughout the summer. In addition, make sure to do proper upkeep and maintenance including checking chimneys and door seals.

Canvassers will be giving away free moisture meters.


• 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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