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Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment: Wood burning, the air pollution elephant in the room

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  • Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment: Wood burning, the air pollution elephant in the room

    1. 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.

    2. One home using a wood heating device can produce as much community pollution as between 3,000 and 60,000 homes using natural gas furnaces.

    3. Wood smoke is extremely small (much smaller than other particulate matter pollution) easily penetrating homes, and easily inhaled deeply into the lungs.

    4. 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.

    5. Heating your home with wood is a serious health hazard to your family?s health and to your neighbors as well.

    6. Wood burning should be eliminated all year round, for all the same reasons that we no longer force people to be exposed to second hand cigarette smoke in any public venues.
    Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment is the largest civic organization of health care professionals in Utah, with over 230 members, primarily physicians, but also other health care professionals, biologists, toxicologists, engineers, air quality specialists and the general public. We are concerned about the health risks present in our environment, based on the overwhelming, convincing evidence in the medical literature demonstrating a wide array of chronic diseases are more common among people who are exposed to more air pollution, particulates especially.

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    (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
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