Who are we?
We are Canadians who have come together to fight for the right to breathe clean air in our homes, yards and neighbourhoods.
We are against residential wood smoke and odour from all wood burning appliances - stoves, fireplaces, furnaces and all outdoor burning.
We are against all wood burning
Article by The Canadian Clean Air Alliance
The microscopic airborne specks of pollution known as particulate matter, or PM, produced by wood-burning appliances are now a special concern to many health professionals and scientists, because of their impact on human health, as these tiny particles do have the ability to reach deep into the lungs, carrying high levels of chemical compounds that have been linked to cardiopulmonary diseases and cancer. Recent research has found that these particles can also damage DNA, and impact genes in a way comparable to cigarette smoke and car exhaust.
Wood combustion releases harmful pollutants into the air we breathe (Canadian Lung Association)
Research indicates that a reduction in disease resistance is associated with wood smoke exposure. Wood smoke exposure can disrupt the cellular membranes, depress immune system activity, damage the layer of cells that protect and cleanse the airways, and disrupt enzyme levels. The health effects of wood smoke exposure include increased respiratory symptoms, increased hospital admissions for lower respiratory infections, exacerbation of asthma, and decreased breathing ability. Young children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing cardiopulmonary disease are most likely to be affected, however the harmful pollutants associated with wood smoke also directly impact on the health of otherwise healthy people.
What’s In That Smoke?
Wood smoke contains tiny particles of creosote, soot, and ash that can remain airborne for up to three weeks. Small particles of solid and liquid matter suspended in the air are called particulate matter, or "PM." PM10 are those particles 10 microns or less in diameter. (In comparison, a human hair is approximately 70 microns in diameter.) PM2.5, or "fine" particulate matter, are those particles 2.5 microns or less in diameter. Inhaling fine PM causes coughing, irritation, and permanent scaring of the lungs. This type of damage decreases lung function, increases the potential for respiratory illness, and may contribute to cancer, heart disease, and changes in DNA, leading to auto-immune diseases.
Municipal bylaws regulating wood heating
Many municipalities experience air quality problems because of residential wood combustion. For municipalities who'd like to develop regulations on wood burning, Environment Canada has developed a Model Municipal By-Law for Regulating Wood Heating Appliances (PDF).
The CCAA is working in many communities to get bans and strict bylaws in place and we hope that municipalities will realize that the best way to deal with RWSP(Residential Wood Smoke Pollution) is to change to a non burning heat source. There is no safe way to smoke cigarettes and no safe way to burn wood.
By: Dorothy Robinson
Predominant wood (fuel) users in North America and
Europe have a 21% higher risk of lung cancer.
Predominant wood (fuel) users in North America and Europe have a 21% higher risk of lung cancer.The full article can be found here.
The Canadian Cancer Society includes wood burning as a source of lung cancer formation.
"Sampling Program for Residential Wood Heating,
Study Report: 1999 to 2002, carried out in a
residential area of Montreal" _____________
Reduction in deaths due to ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease may be associated with implementation of residential burn restrictions in San Joaquin Valley.
The American Environment Protection Agency estimates that the lifetime cancer risk from wood smoke is 12 times greater than that from an equal volume of second hand cigarette smoke. (The Health Effects of Wood Smoke, Washington State Department of Ecology);
Did you know that wood smoke is chemically active in the body 40
times longer than tobacco smoke?
"For those on the receiving end of a neighbour's fireplace or wood stove, it is often similar to living with a chain smoker." Wayne R. Ott, Ph.D.
What was once considered a harmless practice now is recognized as a
major source of air pollution and major contributor to global warming.
Wood smoke has also been identified by Environment Canada as a
significant source of winter pollution, now known as "Winter Smog."
If we have made it illegal to leave our cars idling for a few
minutes, how can it then be okay to have a wood burning stove or
fireplace going 24/7 or even for a few hours, emitting toxins and
carcinogens while our kids play outside in the "fresh" air or while we
sit in our homes with a window open letting in "fresh" air?
As the number of people affected by residential wood smoke is growing, more and more people are finally starting to speak out. We realize that as individuals we are not being heard by any level of government local, provincial or federal. We must all take serious measures towards truly safe air and recognize that the best way is to go forwards, not backwards to end all residential wood burning.
"A voice in the dark is never heard until someone listens"
The Canadian Cancer Society lists, among other pollutants, indoor coal or wood burning as linked to a number of negative health effects.
existing lung disease and heart problems worse
and it increases the number of lung cancer
Click HERE for suggestions to handle residential wood smoke problems