Wood smoke problems must be recognized and dealt with

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Wood smoke problems must be recognized and dealt with

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:25 pm

Wood smoke problems must be recognized and dealt with
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 02:01 Letter to the Editor

In reply to the letter from Tom Forster, Dec. 18, re: wood smoke.
I have been a resident of Lethbridge for many years and until recently would have agreed that problems caused by wood smoke were minimal. I will not debate climate change; however, I can attest to the air quality issue and how it can affect one's comfort level in their own home.

Neither my husband nor myself has previously had breathing problems of any kind. About three years ago we began to notice smoke in our home in the evenings and into the night. Dry, sore eyes and throats, coughs, nausea and awakening in the night unable to catch a breath have now become routine and periodically our smoke alarm awakens us.

We have been to every local company that sells wood-burning fireplaces looking for something to help filter out the smoke but there is nothing available. They tell us that the smoke comes in through a furnace air vent due to air pressure or temperature inversion, down drafts, low cloud cover, and, yes, Mr. Forster, wind!

When a fireplace is installed, it is vented to make sure the occupants of the building are protected and comfortable, but there is no protection for the neighbours. Because there are no rules or guidelines, there is nowhere to go to have the problem monitored, and there is no point in moving since the problem can occur in any neighbourhood.

I agree that it would be a shame to see yet another bylaw become necessary when many of the causes of this pollution are controllable. Of course, the problems have to be recognized and dealt with. Claiming that problems can't exist based on an irrelevant theory about the ice age and indigenous peoples' campfires is not going to accomplish anything. If those who are burning soft woods, damp or inappropriate materials for hours on end would reassess their habits and perhaps put one less piece of wood on their fire or burn their fires for shorter periods of time, it would be a good start.

I respect their right to enjoy the warmth and ambiance a fireplace can provide, but respect works both ways.

Mona Leslie
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/letters ... 11911.html

You can believe your eyes: Low visibility can mean higher death rates.
http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/0 ... ath-rates/

Time to stub out smoking in cars.
http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/edit ... -1.1080733
• 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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