13 comments to “Wood Stoves Under Fire As Health Risk”

  1. Smoky Joe

    Sometimes living in a conservative state makes me crazy, but no one who is sane would propose a ban on stoves in Virginia. Rural folk of limited means need their stoves. I would never live anywhere that did not let me burn wood for heat.

  2. Maelduin

    As I understand it, modern woodstoves with airwash technology give off virtually no smoke; the ‘secondary burning’ caused by the airwash method actually burns the smoke.

  3. smokeghost

    RAWSEP, Burning Issues, and other air quality not for profits’ are on the bandwagon of energy corporate sponsorship to promote new technologies that are economically healthy for them. Its engrained in Maurice Strong’s Environmental Study programmes that have formed them. Raw science and economics are still far from a harmony for sustainable development. Wood heating because it is not dependent on manufactured fuels and electricity is seen as a potential market problem. Wood heating appliances do not pollute absolutely. They only do so due to incorrect use and them not using available technologies to work in adverse atmospheric conditions. Low cost regulation should be enforced but banning would be ultimately self-destructive due to the perpetual increase of costs from alternatives.

    Pollution from them cannot be solved by appliance centric technologies alone and they do require fine tuned standards that include their entire exhaust system. It is my suspicion that these not for profits push what their funders require them to push – in the name of ‘energy star’ electric/ manufactured bio fuels/ natural gas or propane – to convince the public they need to change. The reality is a wood stove is self sufficient, sustainable, carbon neutral and more reliable in the event of a natural disaster, market shock or power outage than alternatives. Even with asthma/ allergy irritating or life shortening scientific research the benefits could easily be quantified against the industry polluting – non sustainable alternatives. The appliances and flue systems at the end of their life are almost entirely recyclable. Their fuel is sustainable with ethical forestry management and practices. Those who protest to make way for cleaner grid based systems have to consider the transition phase. Wood heaters need to stay but they need to be built and installed correctly. Certification of the appliances is not enough. That only sells new appliances, pays local government regulators and new industry. It’s ecologically damaging though economically stimulating. It’s madness and nothing changes in the primary environmental destructive forces from the banker’s creative economics.

    Peer reviewed science has been hijacked by energy corporate – world bank socialism. We need to look after are own interests and survival. Socialism will kill capitalism which is a great shame. Everyone deserves a chance and the more we’re at the mercy of policy the less we will do ourselves. Freedom is about being able create for ourselves and think for ourselves. For me and my family that is staying warm and secure. It’s energy/ domestically poor button pushers at the mercy of socialism against motivated, resourceful capitalists who have more of a chance to get ahead and compete in the market – who think for themselves.

    Promoting energy controlling policies without considering the importance of transition is self-destructive. Yes. Smart grid systems for cities using solar tapped directly into the grid is an example of good modern technology. More wind power, wave power etc is great. My feeling however is not to take such an aggressive stance on home heating. A home should be at least 50% self sufficient in its energy use. Heating with the ability to boil water is a basic need all should have without being at the mercy of market politics.

  4. Air Is Precious Linda Baker Beaudin

    No one should be forced to leave their home becuase of Woodburning that continues to destroy our health, quality of life and our fragile environment.

    We all deserve the right and common decency to breathe healthy air–woodsmoke-free.

    Everyone suffers from Woodsmoke Pollution. Even the healthy.

    Woodburning stoves, Woodburning fireplaces, pellet stoves, Outdoor Woodboilers (OWBs), all outdoor open air burning, pellet plants and biomass plants continue to pollute and saturate our air and lungs with the deadly cancer causing toxins found in Woodsmoke.

    Woodsmoke Pollution has been linked with Asthma, COPD, Cardiovascular, Cancer, Cardiopulmonary, SIDS and other diseases. People are suffering and dying from Woodsmoke related diseases.

    Everything around us is negatively affected by Woodsmoke. Take pro-active action by bringing awareness to your leaders in your community. Without laws to ban Woodsmoke in urban areas, you too could become another statistic and a Victim of Woodsmoke Pollution. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Only by-laws to end all outdoor open air burning, and regulations implemented to phase out the use of Woodburing stoves, Woodburning fireplaces and Woodboilers (OWBs) will provide us with the pure air we need to breathe woodsmoke-free each season of our life.

    Become informed today, your health and life depend on it!

    Breathe Healthy Air http://breathehealthyair.blogspot.com/

    Clean Air Revival http://burningissues.org/

    Freedom of Air http://www.myspace.com/freedomofair

  5. Donna Martin

    Of course Wood smoke is very harmful for people’s lungs. So, those people which have asthma should leave such smoky areas.

  6. Sally Sablan

    I have a wood burning insert that is Phase II EPA inspected. Do I still have to follow the burn days?

  7. Frank

    I made a big mistake: I sold the old house that is next door to our new home. The first thing the new owners did was build a fire in the shop woodstove, and now I am up all night with asthma. I had been asthma free for over six months, now this.

    There must be something we can to do stop this burning of wood. We stopped them from smoking in restaurants so why can we stop them from contaminating our neighborhoods with a wood stove, which is like burning tons of cigarrettes!

  8. Linda Baker Beaudin (Air Is Precious)

    Woodsmoke Pollution presents a grave harm to everyone. When people are exposed to Woodsmoke emissions, damage can be done long before the disease is evident or discovered. Exposure to all Woodsmoke is toxic and exacerbates the many multiple diseases faced by millions world wide. Asthma, COPD, respiratory, strokes, cancer and cardiovascular have all been linked to the toxic emissions we inhale from Woodsmoke.
    Scientific evidence and data absolutely confirm that the toxic emissions we inhale from Woodsmoke are killing us!
    See: Clean Air Revival http://burningissues.org/
    Become informed about the dangers of Woodsmoke Pollution. Make Woodsmoke Pollution your number one priority. Your life and breath depend on it!!
    Take proactive action in your community. Contact your elected officials, your Government, your city and board council members, and Mayors. Write them, phone them, and tell them how Woodsmoke is harming your life and your community and your environment. Now is the time to act.
    We each deserve the right and common decency to breathe healthy air–woodsmoke-free.
    That will only become possible if we see a Ban on all outdoor open air burns and new regulations to phase out Woodsmoke from Woodstoves and Woodburning fireplaces.
    We must consider the health and well being of our children and the future generations.
    A quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it all:
    “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”

  9. Cathy

    Even new wood stoves still emit a lot of fine particle pollution; and no amount of smoke can be considered safe to breathe. Breathing wood smoke is a health risk for everyone, but it’s especially harmful for those most at risk, including seniors, people with asthma or other respiratory health concerns, infants, and children. More and more people now realize that it really is time for us to heed the advice of a growing number of physicians and researchers, and organizations such as the American Lung Association . . . and avoid burning wood, choosing cleaner burning alternatives to wood wherever possible, especially in residential areas.

  10. Ann

    It’s also important to think about the many costs of #2 heating oil, which is what most people use at least some of the time in northern NY. For many, it is the backup while wood burning provides most of the heat when we are at home. How does the air pollution from heating oil compare with that from a newer wood stove? How does the threat to the eco-system compare? Look at the situation in the Gulf of Mexico — this is the result of our having to go farther and dig deeper for the oil that remains, and yes, we have no choice but to heat our homes in winter, or abandon them for warmer climates. I think a much better option would be to make wood burning technology cleaner and help people upgrade their stoves. At some point, it’s clear, we are going to have to regulate each person’s carbon footprint. Just having the money to keep and heat a huge house does not justify the waste and danger to everyone else.

  11. Michael O'Rourke

    The fact “burning is an option” is really not true for many people. Burning wood is often the only source of heat in some states (I live in Northern Minnesota – 30 to 40 below zero not uncommon) and lack of heat will cause lack of breathing! The solution seems so simple to me – simply require those that burn with wood to change to a new EPA listed unit WHEN THE OLD UNIT NEEDS REPLACING OR EARLIER. The new units kick out less than 6 grams of particulate per hour (most under 2.5 grams) while older units kick out 60+ grams, a huge difference. Also, since the new units are more efficient the same or greater amount of heat can be generated with about 1/3 less wood which equals less cost. I realize that not everyone can afford to “change out” a unit and those are the people that need some sort of assistance from some agency either public or private. Wood burning is not going away, and in fact with the new technology and the potential increase in fossil fuel prices, it is becoming a very viable option from a cost savings perspective — we just need to be as efficient as possible for everyones’ benfit.

  12. Shirley

    When it comes to residents health vs wood smoke, there is no debating that something drastic needs to be done. If nothing is done, the problem will escalate until out of control.
    It should not be that difficult to create a bylaw or ban in each of the counties and let people know that burning is an option but breathing is not!
    Time to end the pollution of the air that everyone needs to breathe. Don’t allow the burners to continue to create health issues for others. From reading comments online, I notice they all can afford an Internet connection to fight for what they assume are their ‘rights’ to continue dumping toxins into the air.

  13. Dale Ernest Stephens


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