Research shows that the
prominent toxic components of wood smoke affect every organ system,
especially fetal brain development Below are 17 other reasons:
1. All pollution is not created equal. Wood smoke is the most toxic type
of pollution in most cities, more dangerous than auto pollution and most
industrial pollution. Lighting a wood fire in your house is like starting
up your own toxic incinerator.
2. Lifetime cancer risk is 12 times greater for wood smoke compared to an
equal volume of second hand cigarette smoke.
3. Burning 10 lbs. of wood for one hour, releases as much PAHs (polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons) as 6,000 packs of cigarettes.
4. Toxic free-radical chemicals in wood smoke are biologically active 40
times longer than the free radicals in cigarette smoke.
5. Wood smoke is the third largest source of dioxins, one of the most
intensely toxic compounds known to science.
6. The very small size of wood particles make them seven times more likely
to be inhaled than other particulate pollution.
7. Wood smoke easily penetrates homes of neighbors creating concentrations
up to 88% as high as outdoor air.
8. If you smell wood smoke, you know you are being harmed. The sweet smell
comes from deadly compounds like benzene.
9. The most dangerous components of air pollution are much higher inside
homes that burn wood than non-burners, as much as 500% higher.
10. Considering the most dangerous part of particulate pollution, wood
burning produces as much overall as all our cars during the winter.
11. The inhalable particulate pollution from one woodstove is equivalent to
the amount emitted from 3,000 gas furnaces producing the same amount of
12. Emissions from modern combustion appliances for wood logs may increase
ten-fold if they are not operated appropriately or frequently maintined, and
most of them are not.
13. Wood smoke is the only pollution emitted right where people spend most
of their time. It disperses poorly, is not evenly distributed and stays in
the air longer because of its small size. Concentrations can be 100 times
higher for neighbors of wood burners than what is captured at the nearest
monitoring station. Real local “pollution victims” are created even when
overall community levels are low.
14. If your neighbor is a regular wood burner, you can go an entire winter
without having one single day of clean air.
15. According to California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District,
burning wood costs the rest of the community, primarily your next door
neighbors, at least $2 in extra medical expenses for every lb of wood that
you burn. An average fire then costs your neighbors about $40.
16. Long ago most communities passed ordinances protecting people from
second hand cigarette smoke. Ironically those laws protect people at places
they don't necessarily have to be (restaurants, stores, buildings, etc).
But in the one place they have to be, their home, they have no protection
from something even worse—wood smoke. People should have just as much
protection from wood smoke as from cigarette smoke and for all the same
reasons. We don’t allow people to blow cigarette smoke in your face, why
should we allow people to blow wood smoke into your home?
17. Wood burning is not even close to carbon neutral over the short term,
the next few decades, and it is that time frame that will make or break the
climate crisis. Burning wood is extremely in inefficient. Per unit of heat
created wood produces even more CO2 than the fossil fuels do. Furthermore,
the black carbon particulate matter released enhances the absorption of
radiant heat in the atmosphere, making global warming worse, and prematurely
melts already imperiled mountain snow pack.
Also, please check the "links" page to see if there is a representative in
your area that you can contact before emailing to me. A representative in
your own area will have more information about your bylaws than I will have.***
Ithaca, New York
Read the sweeping language of the
new code: E. No outdoor wood-burning burning furnace be installed,
constructed, maintained or operated on the exterior
property of premises within the City. (Chapter 178-4)
visitThe American Lung Association's
Policy" page. (Please
note that the policy document is for informational purposes only and should
not indicate an endorsement of products advertised on the site)
There is more information regarding "Residential Wood and Other Biomass
Combustion" on page 5 of the
Woodsmoke is not just an
outdoor problem. The particles are very small, ranging from
.2 microns at the start of the burn period to .05 microns as
the burn cycle progresses. Particles of this size behave
like gases. The only way to keep them of houses out is to
make our homes airtight and risk dying from lack of oxygen.
When emitted on cold, still nights, woodsmoke builds up
outdoors and then seeps into our houses. A study in
Vancouver (Intake Fraction of Urban Wood Smoke, Ries et al..
Envir Sci Tech, 2009) reported that woodsmoke particles are
7 times more likely to be breathed into our lungs than the
average PM2.5 particle in Vancouver's air.
Once breathed in, woodsmoke particles are much more
dangerous than environmental tobacco smoke. Organic extracts
of ambient particulate matter containing substantial
quantities of woodsmoke were found to be 30- fold more
potent than extracts of cigarette smoke condensate in a
mouse skin tumour induction assay. In human cell lines,
woodsmoke caused more DNA damage than traffic-generated PM
per unit mass and was found to induce lung cancer in mice.
Oncogene mutations in human patients with advanced non-small
cell lung cancer have been associated with exposure to wood
smoke as well as active tobacco smoking.
contains several known human carcinogens, including benzene,
benzo[a]pyrene and formaldehyde. Burning 1 kg of wood in a
modern heater produces more benzo[a]pyrene than in the smoke
from 27,000 cigarettes and more benzene and formaldehyde
than in the smoke of 6,000 cigarettes.
Predominant wood (fuel) users in North America and Europe
had a 21% higher risk of lung cancer. In developing
countries, exposure to woodsmoke is associated with lung,
mouth and throat cancers, and even cervical cancers in women
who test positive for the HPV virus.
In OECD countries, lung cancer increases by 14% for every
additional 10 ug/m3 of annual PM2.5 exposure. It is the
largest single-source of PM2.5 emissions in most Australian
cities - 67% of PM2.5 emissions in Canberra (where 3.9% of
households have woodheaters) and 34% in Sydney (where 4.3%
use wood as the main form of heating). The situation is
similar in Canada, e.g. Quebec, where wood heating is
responsible for 61% of fine particle emanations.
Based on the estimated 14% increase in lung cancers per 10
ug/m3 of annual PM2.5 exposure and the high proportion of
PM2.5 from woodsmoke, the number of cancers from woodsmoke
is likely to rival or perhaps exceed the number from ETS.
Thanks to the excellent work of all cancer councils, most
people are able to avoid exposure to ETS at work and in
restaurants, so population exposure to this toxin is
probably less than exposure to woodsmoke, which has been
shown to cause many more cancers per unit of exposure than
Dr Dorothy L Robinson,
Snr Research Scientist,
Adj A/Prof, University of New England.
Please see the research
documentation and even more important information at:
HERE to download the "Published
Literature on Woodsmoke and Cancer".
have just found a site that sells an air sampler that can be used to
analyse wood smoke PM10 and PM2.5
This unit is a great investment and can be used both indoors and
Click here for the pdf
Thanks to Dr. Arden Pope
for his presentation on the "Health Effects of Particulate
Matter Air Pollution"
“Wood Smoke vs. Cigarette Smoke.
Although many people associate tobacco smoke with certain
health risks, research indicates that second hand wood smoke
has potentially even greater ability to damage health. A
comparison between tobacco smoke and wood smoke using
electron spin resonance revealed quite startling results (Rozenberg
2001, Wood Smoke is More Damaging than Tobacco Smoke).
Tobacco smoke causes damage in the body for approximately 30
seconds after it is inhaled. Wood smoke, however, continues
to be chemically active and cause damage to cells in the
body for up to 20 minutes, or 40 times longer.”
is Dirty Aviston?
Dirty Aviston was raised in Clinton County
Illinois; he attended elementary and high school in Clinton
County. Dirty Aviston graduated high school half-year early
because he had enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF). When
Dirty Aviston’s high school class was graduating high school, he
was being sworn-in as a USAF Security Policeman at the age of
17. For the next 23+ years, Dirty Aviston was deployed around
the world defending this great country of ours and defending
freedom. Little did he know his individual freedom and rights
would be violated when he moved back to Clinton County,
returned to Clinton
Illinois. Upon his
return, he was sworn
in as a police
continues to serve
his country in
capacity. This is
Outdoor Wood Boiler
(OWB) also known as
an Outdoor Wood
Dirty Aviston is now
a Disabled Veteran
who has to use a
breathing machine on
a daily basis due to
smoke is a nuisance,
it damages his
prevents him from
prevents him from
using his prescribed
breathing machine as
it was prescribed,
and it has a
negative impact on
his health and the
health of his
here for the rest of
Dan has written a book, Healthy Living Spaces, filled
with information, which can be
Our homes and offices may be clean, but are they safe?
Armed with aerosol sprays and bleach, we wage war
against germs and household dirt, but at what cost?
The smoke and the dust from wildfires is unhealthy to breathe.
The effects of smoke range from eye and respiratory tract
irritation to more serious disorders, including reduced lung
function, bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma, and premature
death. Studies have found that fine particles are linked with
increased mortality and aggravation of pre-existing respiratory
and cardiovascular disease (Wildfire Smoke A Guide for Public
Health Officials, Revised July 2008).
"In addition to
the local problems caused by
widespread biomass burning, two
other related issues have not
been addressed. First, the
amount of monitoring for
particulate air pollution is not
even close to what is needed.
Second, our public health laws
are not effective in helping
people who are being exposed to
biomass smoke by a neighbor. The
difference in how sewage system
incursion on to neighboring
property is addressed is much
more clear and reliable than how
wood smoke “trespassing” is
treated by public officials."
"We support efforts to rewrite
and enforce public health laws
that protect people from the
dangers of wood smoke exposure.
As in the area of secondhand
tobacco smoke, the right to
breathe healthy air is primary.
It supersedes any alleged
“right” to burn wood."
"Air pollution is a contributing risk factor to developing
chronic heart and lung disease and may even result in premature deaths. Health Canada estimates that air pollution causes about
6,000 deaths per year in 8 major Canadian cities.
Even those living in rural areas and in cottage country can
be affected, too. They may be exposed to pollutants like wood smoke and also
breathe in pollutants that get blown by the wind from sources hundreds of
The EPA has written that
wood smoke is 12 times more carcinogenic than tobacco smoke.
Our mission is to educate public
officials, government and all citizens about wood smoke as a major
form of hazardous air pollution that affects our health, use of our
property, water, crops, livestock, the environment and climate
change. We urge citizens everywhere to press for legislative
changes to call wood smoke a public nuisance under state health
codes and to ban all wood burning."
"Breathing wood smoke is smoking"
Don't miss the Power
Point Presentation by the B.C. Director
Thank you Dr Robinson of the Armidale Air
Quality Group for this information!
FRESH AIR CALGARY
Currently, many people are suffering due to outdoor burning.
The noxious stench is infiltrating their homes and
properties… a very dangerous way to have to live when a ban
on outdoor burning would end their misery. No matter what
they try, the smoke gets into their homes. The toxin-laden
particles cannot be kept out.
Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes municipalities to pass
by-laws regarding the economic, social and environmental
well-being of the municipality, health and safety of the
residents and protection of people as well as properties
including activities that could cause public nuisance.
Section 125 of the Act provides that a municipality
may regulate heating and cooking appliances. 26
Such appliances may include outdoor boilers and chimeneas as
well as indoor wood stoves, fireplaces and chimneys. A local
municipality may regulate a) the use and installation of
heating and cooking appliances, and b) the storage of fuel
for use in heating and cooking appliances, etc. In addition,
a municipality has the power to enter on land at any
reasonable time for the purpose of carrying out an
inspection to determine whether or not by-laws or orders are
being complied with.
Protection Act (EPA)
Every person is responsible for complying with the
provisions of the EPA. No person shall create a discharge of
any air contaminants that may cause adverse health or
environmental effect which is a prosecutable offence under
the Act. Any adverse effects, including those caused by the
burning of waste, could result in compliance and enforcement
action being taken by the Ministry of the Environment. In
addition, despite exemption of certain facilities or
establishments from Certificate of Approval requirements
under the Act such sites must comply with the applicable air
standards set out in Ontario Regulation 419/05: Air
Pollution - Local Air Quality.
bans OWBs in populated counties that do not meet federal air quality
Golden, British Columbia
a bylaw prohibiting the installation of any solid fuel burning appliance
(Bylaw # 1150)
- banned all new installations of wood stoves and ordered existing wood
stoves to be removed within 7 years. (Bylaw # 729-2)
Montreal, QUEBEC (Apr. 29/2009) - no
further installation of any wood burning stoves or fireplaces
Suffolk, NEW JERSEY -
bans all OWBs within 1000 feet of another house
Stillwater, MINNESOTA -
bans all wood burning or boiling stoves - existing and future (March 11,
Pleasant Prairie, WISCONSIN -
bans all new outdoor wood furnaces and wood boilers
Savage City, MINNESOTA -
prohibits outdoor wood boilers (OWBs)
Burnsville, MINNESOTA -
banned OWBs December 2008
New Prague, MINNESOTA -
total ban on OWBs
Grand Forks, BRITISH COLUMBIA -
The bylaw states that “no person shall create a nuisance using a wood
burning appliance in such a way as to disturb the health and comfort of
two or more persons from separate dwellings.” Enforcement would be
complaint driven and fines could be up to $500.
Houston, BRITISH COLUMBIA
uncertified appliances to be removed by 2010
St. Thomas, ONTARIO -
prohibits the use of outdoor fireplaces including wood boilers and
- has set stringent restrictions on setback distances for outdoor boiler
operations from the nearest dwellings and property lines
outdoor wood boiler specifications have been set which include minimum
lot sizes, distance from property lines and distances from property
Elmira, NEW YORK -
Ban on smoke and other deleterious fumes that cross property lines onto
the property of another. Fines are $250 for a second offence or a jail
Best ban in the country!
Marion, IOWA -prohibits
new outdoor wood-burning boilers within city limits and to regulate
existing setups. All existing boilers must be registered by Jan. 1; have
smokestacks two feet higher than any residential roof within 300 feet of
the system; and be removed when the property changes hands.
Avon, Granby, Tolland, Hebron, Woodbridge, South Windsor, Portland,
Norfolk, Ridgefield, Haddam, Cheshire, West Hartford, Hamden, Rocky
Hill, Simsbury, North Haven, New Fairfield
and Bethel– 18 towns have banned outdoor wood furnaces in order to protect the
health and property values of their citizens.
Inver Grove Heights, MINNESOTA
Nov. 15, 2010 - council bans all OWBs. All OWBs must be removed from
properties by Oct. 01, 2011.
The STATE of WASHINGTON
has laws to address neighbor's wood smoke. According to the Puget Sound
Clean Air Agency, “generating excessive smoke is not only unneighborly,
it’s illegal. Under state regulations, smoke from a person’s chimney
cannot exceed 20 percent opacity for six consecutive minutes. Greater
smoke densities could result in fines from air pollution control
officials. It is always illegal to smoke out your neighbor. Everyone has
a right to breathe clean air. If smoke from your fire is affecting your
neighbors, it is considered a nuisance and subject to enforcement
Salmon Arm, BRITISH COLUMBIA -
No person shall install an Outdoor Solid-Fuel Combustion Appliance in or
about any premises.
Huron East, ONTARIO - Bylaw passed - all new OWB's to
have minimum setback allowances and lot sizes. A great improvement over
what they had before – nothing.
Milford, DELAWARE – All outdoor wood-burning
furnaces are banned as of Aug 31st and any existing ones have
to be removed within 3 months.
Sigourney, IOWA - Prohibits the installation of OWBs within city
limits (July 20/2011).
Lakewood, IOWA -
Bans all new OWBs and is regulating the 3
Butler, INDIANA -
Bans OWBs within city limits.
Waterloo, ONTARIO- No person
shall set or maintain an open air fire using solid fuel.
- No person shall conduct an open air in a
manner that creates a nuisance....
- OWB must be 500' from any building, stack 2'
higher that any roof structure, permanent stack 18' minimum height.
- Bans all new OWB installations except in agricultural areas.
Alberni, BRITISH COLUMBIA
(2012) All newly
installed wood burning appliances must be EPA listed. Beginning in 2017
(5 years from now) all existing wood burning appliances must be EPA
listed. Prohibition of unpermitted fuels. $200 fine for non-compliance,
per violation. Inspectors have the right to enter to determine
compliance with bylaw.
Grand Forks, BRITISH
COLUMBIA- No person shall
create a nuisance using a wood burning appliance...
West Salem, WISCONSIN-With only 3 OWBs, which will be
grandfathered, they have taken the logical step to ban any further
installations of OWBs.
Red Deer, ALBERTA -Bans OWBs
The zoning regulations from the town of Tolland, CT
An excellent example of how a town banned Outdoor Wood Furnaces
(OWFs), also known as Outdoor Wood Boilers (OWBs).
This provides an example to a Planning and Zoning Commission on
how to ban OWFs in their town.
ZONING REGULATIONS TOWN OF TOLLANDChapter 170 page 96
CODE of the TOWN OF TOLLAND STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Zoning Regulations Rev. July 20, 2009
Accessory Uses and Structures Section 170-84. General
Accessory uses and structures shall be subject to the following
A. Establishment of accessory uses.
1. Accessory buildings, structures and uses shall be located on
the same lot as the principal building, structure or use to
which they are accessory.
2. Accessory buildings, structures and uses shall not be
located on a lot without the prior establishment of a permitted
principal use, nor shall any new lot be created that has an
accessory building, structure or use without a principal use.
B. Prohibited Accessory Uses and Structures.
The Commission feels that, by their very nature, the following
uses and structures cannot be regulated in such a fashion as to
protect the Health, Safety and Welfare of the general public and
are prohibited in all zones.
Outdoor Wood Burning Furnaces, as defined by P.A. 05-227
Much has been
published by wood burning appliance makers that might lead one
to believe that wood burning is safe. Not so!
There is no
such thing as 'good' smoke. All smoke carries particulate matter
that can be drawn deep into the lungs to cause severe damage. If
you can smell smoke then you are inhaling these particulates and
the damage has begun. You cannot escape the wood smoke that
makes its way into your home through ventilation systems and
even minute spaces in doors and windows. No air cleaner will
clear the air and make it safe to breathe. The only answer is
for all of you to contact your municipal and governmental
leaders and demand that they create bylaws regarding wood
residential areas. You might want to tell them that, if they
have banned cigarette smoking in public areas, why are you
forced to breathe wood smoke in your own home and property?
We all need
to work on this important issue and we need to do it now!
Rolf Czeskleba-Dupont of Denmark has written a research report, which was
edited last November at a transnational publisher on "Toxic emissions and
devaluated CO2-neutrality. Expanded combustion of stem wood
sustainable development". Reviewers
may order it as an e-book from
here for a copy of the mpac (Municipal Property Assessment
Corporation) Reassessment Request for Reconsideration Form for
more of us applied for tax reductions because of nuisance, local
and provincial governments would take notice!
Launceston City Council and
Tasmanian State protester (Rod Farmer) is out to shame the
government in order to enforce regulations regarding wood smoke.
here to read his blog.
..To reduce air pollution, wood-burning fireplaces in
homes and gas-burning fireplaces or pits in
recreation areas will not be allowed, and efficient heating,
ventilation and appliances as well as window and wall
insulation will be required.
"Wood smoke is chemically
active in the body 40 times longer than tobacco smoke! The particles
are smaller than red blood cells. They transport toxic gases,
bacteria and viruses into the lung and directly into the
bloodstream. Wood smoke is 12 times more likely to cause cancer than
the same amount of tobacco smoke."
( William Pryor,
University of Louisiana )
New CMA Report Warns
Poor Air Quality Killing Canadians
OTTAWA, August 13, 2008
- The Canadian Medical Association
released staggering new data today
showing that this year alone as many as
21,000 Canadians will die prematurely
from the effects of air pollution. While
most of those deaths will be due to
chronic exposure over a number of years,
almost 3,000 will be the result of
acute, short-term exposure.
CMA's report entitled No Breathing
Room: National Illness Costs of Air
Pollution, shows the effects of
poor air quality based on the
concentrations of two highly predictive
pollutants - ozone and
particulate matter- on four
distinct age groups of Canadians.
the start of the Olympics in Beijing,
much has been made about the poor air
quality in China and the effect it is
having on our athletes," said CMA
President Dr. Brian Day. "But we have a
serious home-grown pollution problem
right here and Canadians, ranging from
the very young to the very old, are
paying the price."
Specific findings of the No Breathing
Room: National Illness Costs of Air
Pollution report include:
By 2031, almost 90,000 Canadians
will have died from the acute
short-term effects of air pollution.
The number of deaths, due to
long-term exposure, will be over
700,000 - the population of Quebec
In 2008, 80% of those who die due to
air pollution will be over age 65.
In 2008, 25 Canadians under age 19
will die of the effects of
short-term exposure to air
Ontario and Quebec residents are the
worst hit Canadians, with 70% of the
premature deaths occurring in
Central Canada, even though these
two provinces comprise only 62% of
In 2008 there will be over 9,000
hospital visits, 30,000 emergency
department visits and 620,000
doctor's office visits due to air
The economic costs of air pollution
in 2008 will top $8 billion. By
2031, they will have accumulated to
over $250 billion.
Newspaper article of April 16, 2008
Jim & Shirley Brandie v
Salvatore DeSantis & Marina Estrella
**You will find the
wood in the above photo was put in the barn in 2006,
post-injunction. Photos are on the 2006 page.**
Article from United Press
into the air we
so tiny they are
seep into our
systems and even
wood smoke in
any quantity is
not good for
should we be
subjected to any
and odour in our
homes, yards and
Dioxins and furans are some of the most toxic chemicals
known to science. ...
The EPA report confirmed that dioxin is a cancer hazard
to people. When you burn wood you produce dioxin.
A recent Lawrence Livermore study found that while wood
burning was the third largest source of dioxin in many
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are produced in
abundance when you burn wood.
"They are primarily formed by incomplete combustion
of carbon-containing fuels such as wood, coal,
diesel, fat, or tobacco. Tar also contains PAHs.
Since human civilization relies so heavily on
combustion, PAHs are inevitably linked to our energy
production. In this sense, PAH can be thought of as
marker molecules as their abundance can be directly
proportional to combustion processes in the region
and therefore directly related to air quality.
Different types of combustion yield different
distributions of PAHs."� Wikipedia�
February of 1995 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received a report
on indoor carcinogenic pollutant emissions from EPA Phase II Wood Stoves:
Normalizing for the rate of wood consumption during each test, the average Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) source
strength is 32 ng/kg of wood burned. The average
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) source
strength is 360 ng/kg of wood. This is the exposure
on average to the user.
The neighbor, of course,
gets the brunt of wood smoke pollution. (NISTIR
5575) U.S. Department of Commerce.
The EPA estimates
that the lifetime cancer risk from wood stove smoke
is twelve times greater than that from an equal
volume of second hand tobacco smoke. (The Health
Effects of Wood Smoke, Washington State Department
"Burning two cords of
wood produces the same amount of mutagenic particles
as: Driving 13 gasoline powered cars 10,000 miles
each at 20 miles/gallon. These figures indicate that
the worst contribution that an individual is likely
to make to the mutagenicity of the air is using a
wood stove for heating, followed by driving a diesel
car." ( Dr. Joellen Lewtas, Contribution of Source
Emissions of the Mutagenicity of Ambient Urban Air
Particles, U.S. EPA, #91-131.6, 1991 )
***Please note: I take no responsibility for articles sent for
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Please double-check your data and any hyperlinks attached to the article