Monday, February 13, 2012

Fireplaces cause harmful wood smoke: report

Wood stoves and heaters can emit harmful particles,
experts say.

Winter is traditionally the time for sitting in front of a cozy fire or wood heater and enjoying the crackling warmth.

However, the wood smoke generated by these fires may add billions to health bills, according to an Australian report.

In Sydney, the smoke from wood fires is the biggest source of air pollution in winter, and the haze will add $8 billion to the health budget by 2030, the report says.

Those are preventable costs, the researchers say, but some measures may be needed to curb the use of wood as a heating fuel.

Wood heaters release a range of tiny particles into the ambient air. Sometimes, these particles can be seen as a smoky haze, but even if they are not visible, these particles can lead to medical problems.

The polluted air especially affects people with
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Inflammation of the lungs
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma

Some studies have linked wood smoke pollutants to cancer, birth defects and nervous system disorders.
According to the report, rural areas have more wood heaters and may expose people living there to the haze.

Officials are debating how to control the wood smoke pollution. One idea brought forward was a tax on wood fuel.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Take care of your indoor air

When it’s starting to get hazy and cold outside, people need to make sure the air they are breathing indoors is healthy.

Unfortunately, most indoor environments are polluted by contaminants such as chemicals, gases, particles, allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses and more.

That is why many people turn to portable air purifiers to help keep the air clean. With the right air filters, an air purifier can help remove those pollutants and will move the air around while cleaning it.

AllerAir’s powerful air purifiers contain a complete air purification system with activated carbon, HEPA and (optional) UV filters, which provide the most protection from airborne pollutants.

Check out AllerAir’s general purpose air purifiers, air cleaners for tobacco (and wood) smoke as well as other specialized IAQ concerns.

Contact AllerAir for more information.