Fire pits are a 'public health hazard'

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Fire pits are a 'public health hazard'

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:31 pm

Mailbag: Fire pits are a 'public health hazard'
October 24, 2012

Re. "Wu: Fire rings are a political boomerang," Oct. 14:

Jack Wu, haven't you read the letters?

How can you invoke the words of Albert Einstein while you ignore the words of highly credentialed wood-smoke toxicology experts?

I have a feeling you are behind in your fact checking. A number of experts have told the California Coastal Commission the scientific facts about wood smoke. You might want to stop ranting and start reading. You can find some of these letters, and more, on the city's web page about the fire rings. Look for "Correspondence Received."

In the words of Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University's director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program and a senior fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment, "There is no low threshold level to the health effects (including mortality) of small air pollution particles … short-term exposure has been linked to increases in hospitalizations, emergency-room visits and mortality … fires on beaches appear to be an unnecessary public health hazard."

Jean Ospital, health effects officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, told the commission, "AQMD staff understands and shares your concerns regarding the particulate matter exposures caused by burning wood in the beach fire pits in Newport Beach … in addition to being a significant contributor to ambient fine particulate levels, smoke from wood and biomass burning are associated with adverse health effects."

Wu, you claim your previous columns "masterfully" contend that anti-fire-pit people don't like gangbangers. Perhaps you should first master the research and understand how serious these health risks really are. Wood smoke does not distinguish between race, creed, political affiliation or socio-economic status. Wood smoke doesn't know if you're a gangbanger or a conservative columnist.

Barbara A. Peters
Newport Beach

source ... wood-smoke
• 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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