Saturday, December 29, 2007

Breathe Easier by Avoiding Wood Burning Fireplaces

Several years ago I started to exercise more regularly and found myself walking and jogging in the evenings. During the cool months, the air outside was often heavy with smoke from wood burning fireplaces. Exercise in those conditions left me feeling poorly – short of breath, a cough and headache. There were few places where I could escape the smoky air.

After researching air quality from such sources as the Environmental Protection Agency, Bay Area Air Quality Management District handbook, and American Lung Association wood burning website, I was shocked to learn about the serious hazards of wood smoke. Prior to my research I thought burning wood was natural and benign. Unfortunately, burning wood is not benign, it is lethal.

  • Wood burning is a serious contributor to air pollution.
  • Wood burning is highly correlated to lung and other related illnesses.
  • Wood burning affects non-burners even indoors.
What can you do?
You can take action today and make a significant contribution to cleaning the air. Fortunately there is little cost to eliminate this hazard, just stop burning wood. What could be simpler?

  • If you burn wood but enjoy the ambiance, then switch to gas. Gas is 3,000 times cleaner than burning wood.
  • If you don't burn wood, then educate your neighbors who do. Support legislation that limits wood burning.
To breathe easier, what could be simpler?

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