Outdoor wood-burning stoves are unhealthy to public

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Outdoor wood-burning stoves are unhealthy to public

Postby Wilberforce » Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:09 pm

Outdoor wood-burning stoves are unhealthy to public
Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jan 12, 2011 @ 09:35 PM

Although New York has tried to get outdoor wood furnaces under control, its new regulations will not protect people who live in the vicinity of one.

The newer phase II units have not gone through field testing, and only the industry is claiming that they burn 90 percent cleaner. Environment and Human Health Inc., a nonprofit organization that receives no funding from business or corporations, has monitored the inside air of homes near outdoor wood furnaces and found that homes as far away as 850 feet have wood smoke levels way above Environmental Protection Agency standards.

So far, only Washington state has banned outdoor wood furnaces. It’s now time for other states, such as Connecticut, to follow. If people’s health and property values are to be protected, then a ban must be enacted.

The Farm Bureau fights regulations in every state so farmers can save a few thousand dollars on heating bills. But neighbors lose the entire value of their homes and their health. Outdoor wood furnaces emit as much smoke as 22 indoor wood stoves. Outdoor wood furnaces are not certified by EPA. Indoor wood stoves are.

New York’s new regulations require that units be 90 percent cleaner, but that does not apply to those already in existence. So, 90 percent clearner than what?

The industry claims phase II units are 90 percent cleaner than the old ones, but these newer units have never been tested in the field and people living near them say they’re almost as polluting as the old ones. The technology is the same — and it’s flawed.

Exposures of two hours or more — peak exposure — is enough to cause serious health effects. The 90-percent-cleaner claim is based on a 24-hour average, not peak exposure, which causes the greatest harm. The industry’s 90-percent-cleaner claim will not bring those peak exposures down to levels that will protect health or home values.

Not enough

New York requires only a 100-foot setback. Smoke from these furnances, whether new or old, forms in a plume up to 1,000 feet — and sometimes a half mile. One hundred feet will in no way protect neighbors.

New York established stack-height requirements, but it doesn’t matter how high because the wood smoke that comes out of the stack falls toward the ground.

New York mandates “only good wood” can be used. Burning even the best and driest wood in the world will still give off toxic emissions. This is like saying when you smoke a cigarette, be sure to use “only good, dry and clean tobacco” as if that would keep the cigarette smoke from being toxic.

When an agency tries to regulate a product that is harmful, the agency often tries to please both the industry and the public. When this happens, too often, the public good is sacrificed.

These devices do not lend themselves to regulation. They must be banned until better technologies are found — and they have not yet been found.

Nancy Alderman is president of Environment and Human Health Inc. in North Haven.

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/Opinion/ ... -to-public
• 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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