6 comments to “Natural, Yes, But Wood Smoke is Toxic, Too”

  1. Nico

    I suppose I can tell my kids that smoking cigarettes is okay because it is just as bad as roasting marshmallows over a campfire.
    The first line of this article states, “Science is swiftly turning upside down the common notion that a fire built with wood is kinder to humans’ well-being than gas and other modern fuels.”
    Although there is literally a fracking well next door (literally), I am certain that the fire place gave my son asthma and not any suspicious chemicals that the well is dispersing. What an informative article. Definitely not propaganda brought to you by the gas companies!

  2. cynthia

    • Wood smoke from Pizza, steak and BBQ contains carcinogenic chemicals, gas and may have synergistic affect. Should be 700 feet and properly vented –from unenclosed mobile homes. (Huntington Beach -South Coast Air Coast Mgmt. District) Signs should be placed in RV parks and areas where toxic chemicals trespass, hang out with soot (ppm) in humid climates. Research may be needed to show that one street block has, for example, 60% more heart attack death and illness than another. Officials need to become familiar with the new second-hand smoke ie. Wood Smoke. It is magnified the closer one is to the source–Bonfire, fire rings, restaurant smoke stack. Plumes from the smoke drift and become stuck in between buildings and trees. Half gas mask works for daytime for a little while. What do we wear at night to sleep to mimimize the effect?

  3. Maria

    This has nothing to do with nuclear power or gas! The vast majority of wood fires are in people’s homes for pleasure only—not for heat or power! This huge source of pollution and disease could be eliminated over night with no side effects and no need for any sort of replacement if we just…stopped building fires in fire places.

  4. joe Provey

    Good info here, but measuring harm to humans caused by various heat sources is an enormous task. Consider the cost of one major nuclear power plant accident (and don’t tell me it can’t happen given the increase of bozos in our society). It could contaminate an entire state for 100s of years. And what about storing the nuclear waste and decommissioning spent nuclear power plants. Everyone forgets to mention that when discussing nuclear and pollution.

    Then consider gas. Green, right? No, not for the people who live in areas where it’s drilled. The new drilling methods pioneered by Haliburton are fouling water wells in 34 states. (Watch the documentary “Gas Land.”) And then there’s oil. No need to look beyond the latest spill. The dispersants and oil WILL get into the food chain. Is it any wonder that diseases like pancreatic cancer are on the rise. Burning wood seems like the lesser of the evils IF a clean-burning appliance is used.

  5. David

    This is a good reason to go with Nuclear power. No air pollution at all. It is far safer than any other type of power production as proven by the actual number of deaths, illness and injuries over the past 60 years of civilian power production in the west. There are designs that are passively safe such as the Adam’s Atomic Engine, or the new B&W MPower design.

    Frankly, this “study” seems exaggerated. It does not jive with the real life experience I have had with fire places and says nothing about the impact of a wood burning power plant that uses scrubbers.

  6. steve laiken

    I agree 1000000%. I’ll be filing complaint against neighbor this fall. Local air agency appears to be ’employed’ by wood and hearth industry & has reputation of being useless at the neighborhood level. I saw a site last week that was featuring stickers to put on street sign posts: it said: ‘WOOD SMOKE IS TOXIC WASTE’. I tried to order some but I think I failed. Does anyone know where/how to get some of these stickers? Thanks, Steve in Bothell WA 425-481-5077.

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