Letters to the editor, Dec. 29

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Letters to the editor, Dec. 29

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:48 pm

Letters to the editor, Dec. 29
Published 5:23 pm, Friday, December 28, 2012

Particulate pollution from wood smoke in Burlingame and San Mateo was well above acceptable levels recently. The air outside was truly toxic.

According the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, during the winter months, residential wood smoke from fireplaces and woodstoves is the largest source of dangerous particulate pollution in the Bay Area. This source of pollution negatively affects the largest number of residents in the nine counties, especially in densely populated cities.

The district acknowledges that there is a significant increase in wood burning during the holidays. Yet in 2012, they've not taken any meaningful, proactive action to curtail wood-smoke pollution. Though it should be expanded, the existing wood-burning code, if enforced, would improve urban air quality. So why isn't the district doing more enforcement? I suspect it's because they gain little political capital or positive media attention for dealing with this large, but mundane, problem. They also seem reluctant to defend their actions to the wood-burning industry and the many people who burn frequently.

Definitive action to actively curtail wood burning in densely populated Bay Area cities is decades overdue. Nothing less than the health of your family, children and neighbors is at stake.

Julio Focaracci, San Mateo

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/lettersto ... 153014.php
• 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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