Environmentalists and healthcare experts have warned that burning wood for fuel could triple the levels of harmful air particles in the home. To this end, experts at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, have asked people not to use wood burning stoves or heaters unless there were no alternatives.
Explaining the reason for the measure, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the British Lung Foundation, Sarah MacFadyen said: “We know that burning wood and coal releases particle matter called PM2.5, the most worrisome form of air pollution for human health.” According to scientists, tiny particles of air pollution flood into the home and can trigger a wide range of health problems for residents as they pass through the lungs.
The elderly and the very young were particularly vulnerable. Dr. Nick Hopkinson, medical director of the Foundation, added; “To protect yourself and others around you, especially children who are particularly vulnerable as their lungs are smaller and still developing, avoid buying a wood-burning stove or using an open fire if you have another source of fuel to cook and heat your home with.”
The American Lung Association said that wood smoke can cause coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks as well as more serious issues such as heart attacks, lung cancer and premature death, reported the ‘NewsmaxHealth’. More and more communities across North America were moving to ban wood and coal-burning fireplaces, and in some areas it was prohibited as activists and governments consider them a threat to public health, the report added.
Similarly, the American Lung Association had warned that tiny particles of pollution emitted from a roaring fire can go straight into the organs through the lungs. Research showed that air pollution damages every organ of the body, especially the lungs, and can increase the risk for depression and dementia.-