Wood-burning homes targeted as major air polluters

by
in environment on (#2WW4)
story imageFireplaces may no longer invoke the same kind of warm memories they used-to. While a fire in the hearth may look good, it’s bad for the heart and lungs. It’s also becoming illegal. An onslaught of new research linking fireplace smoke with heart attacks and lung disease, coupled with stricter air regulations, daily bans on wood-burning, and higher insurance rates may soon erase that Norman Rockwell fireplace scene from real estate brochures. Air districts in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and in China and Greece are asking the public not to burn wood. Utah even proposed a near-complete ban on wood burning, but retracted the measure after overwhelming public opposition. While a low-tech solution, it is an inexpensive way to cut emissions. “We’ve spent 50 years trying to control air emissions from every source, but this one has gone unregulated.”

Wood burning creates on average 5 tons of PM2.5 emissions each day in Southern California, about four times the amount of PM2.5 from all the power plants. These tiny pollutants get sucked into the deepest part of the lungs, the alveoli, interfering with oxygen exchanges, causing lung disease, emergency room visits, heart attacks and even premature deaths, and only an industrial type of face mask can block them. People with asthma or respiratory diseases, children or the elderly should not be in a room with a wood-burning fire, even after it has been extinguished. In many areas, wood smoke is the single biggest source of air pollution in the winter months. While newer EPA-approved stoves emit up to 90 percent less pollution than traditional stoves, even the cleanest wood stove is 60 times more polluting than a natural gas furnace. Many lower-income residents, who burn wood as their sole source of home heating, cannot afford the approx. $3,000 upgrade. The EPA estimates there are 10 million wood stoves in operation in the United States, with 65 percent of them older, inefficient conventional stoves.

Re: More government bullshit! (Score: 1)

by hairyfeet@pipedot.org on 2015-02-07 01:58 (#2WY3)

Thank you! I get so tired of somebody deciding because of where a state is on the map that it is or is not a nanny state without learning anything about the state or its laws! And you perfectly illustrate why I can be extreme left and am utterly opposed of these "think of the (insert children, public,etc) and ban it" kind of laws because they NEVER take common fucking sense into account, never simply focus on what it is that is causing harm, nope lets just ban EVERYTHING that has anything to do with it without distinction! Its the equivalent of trying to get rid of a garden pest problem in your backyard by dropping a MOAB on the block!

If you want to say "this area has too much pollution so we need homes to release below X amount of polluting gases"? I have NO problem with that, as you are not choosing favorites and promoting one (possibly lobbied for) industry over another, you are simply looking at the output. But as you rightly pointed out with bans it wouldn't matter if the gas heating unit belches crap into the air and the wood system has multilevel filtering to only output hot air, all that matters is HOW its created, not WHAT is being created and WHERE its going and that is just retarded!
Post Comment
Subject
Comment
Captcha
In the number 3245600, what is the 7th digit?