UPHE has produced a 30 sec. TV commercial on the toxicity of wood smoke. To watch it click below.
Wood smoke from fireplaces, stoves and cooking grills are responsible for about the same amount of winter time, direct PM pollution as all of our cars. One home using a wood heating device can produce as much community pollution as 3,000 homes using natural gas furnaces.
Wood smoke is extremely small (much smaller than other particulate matter pollution) easily penetrating homes, and more easily inhaled deeply into the lungs than particulate pollution from most other sources. Smoke particles disperse poorly from a typical home chimney, creating local “pollution hot spots.” Virtually no other pollution source is released in the immediate vicinity of where people spend the greatest amount of time. The end result is that neighbors of someone burning wood have been proven to be exposed to dramatically higher levels of pollution than are detected at community air pollution monitors which may be miles away. Residential wood burning creates real local “pollution victims.”
Wood smoke is extremely toxic, with over 200 dangerous chemicals and heavy metals attached, including dioxins. The EPA estimates that an equal amount of particulate pollution from wood smoke is 12 times as carcinogenic as an equal amount from second hand cigarette smoke.