Second Hand Smoke from Wood Burning

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Wood burning causes serious health issues and contributes significantly to particulate pollution

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  • People need to know the dangers of wood smoke. Living next to a neighbor who burns wood 24/7 is making my family very sick. We need to make changes.
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Second Hand Smoke from Wood Burning

  1. 1. Second Hand Smoke: Wood Burning Fireplaces Protect your family Protect your community Claudia Girrbach
  2. 2. When my neighbors burned wood in their fireplaces, I often felt poorly after exercise
  3. 3. A fireplace before my research was A symbol of hearth and home Natural and benign
  4. 4. <ul><li>Composed of dangerous chemicals </li></ul><ul><li>Major contributor to air pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Correlated to chronic illnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Lethal </li></ul>Wood smoke is…
  5. 5. Dr. Joel Schwartz, Harvard School of Public Health “ Particulate pollution is the most important contaminate in our air… When particulate levels go up, people die.”
  6. 6. Particulate Pollution causes 30,000 deaths each year Equal to automobile fatalities
  7. 7. Grain of sand is 90 μ m Human Hair diameter is 70 μ m Particulate pollution is less than 2.5 μ m
  8. 8. Small enough to… Bypass the body’s defense mechanism Enter lungs, brain and bloodstream
  9. 9. Cigarettes  Active for 30 sec Wood smoke  Active for 20 min
  10. 10. Remain lodged deep within the lungs Small enough to …
  11. 11. <ul><li>Most at risk: </li></ul><ul><li>Newborns </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Most at risk: </li></ul><ul><li>Children </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Most at risk: </li></ul><ul><li>Adults who exercise </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Most at risk: </li></ul><ul><li>Elderly </li></ul><ul><li>Those already ill </li></ul>
  15. 15. Small enough to … Linger in the atmosphere for 20 days
  16. 16. Small enough to travel great distances 
  17. 17. Small enough to… Penetrate closed doors and windows
  18. 18. Indoor air pollution is 50 – 70% of outdoor pollution
  19. 19. Indoor air pollution is Equivalent to living with a smoker
  20. 20. Wood smoke during the winter months Contributes 50% of particulate pollution Greater than cars and industry combined
  21. 21. Per hour output of particulate pollution 800 Fireplaces = 1 coal fired power plant 500,000 active fireplaces in SF Bay Area Equivalent of 625 coal fired power plants
  22. 22. SF Bay Area Particulate Pollution For each fire  Nearly ½ pound On a single winter night  11 tons
  23. 23. <ul><li>Composed of dangerous chemicals </li></ul><ul><li>Major contributor to air pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Affects non-burners </li></ul><ul><li>Correlated to chronic illnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Lethal </li></ul>Wood smoke is…
  24. 24. <ul><li>There is a low cost solution </li></ul><ul><li>Stop burning wood </li></ul><ul><li>What could be simpler? </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>If you are a wood burner… </li></ul><ul><li>Stop </li></ul><ul><li>Switch to natural gas </li></ul><ul><li>Start new rituals </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Switch to natural gas </li></ul><ul><li>Gas is 3,000 times cleaner than wood fire </li></ul><ul><li>Newer stoves and fireplaces are better </li></ul><ul><li>BUT still dirty – Gas is 1,000 times cleaner </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Start new rituals </li></ul><ul><li>Aromatherapy </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul><ul><li>Cuddling </li></ul><ul><li>Nature </li></ul><ul><li>Aquarium </li></ul><ul><li>Pet </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>If you already don’t burn or burn clean </li></ul><ul><li>Educate your neighbors </li></ul><ul><li>Support regulations banning wood burning </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Why regulate </li></ul><ul><li>We all share the air </li></ul><ul><li>Education and regulation change behavior </li></ul>
  30. 30. 16% burn wood 100% affected T here is no where for her to hide We all share the air
  31. 31. Education and regulation change behavior. Seat Belt Law  Seat Belt Usage No Law 10 - 20% With Law 45 – 77% 200 to 300% improvement
  32. 32. Dr. Joel Schwartz, Harvard School of Public Health “ When particulate levels go up, people die.” Corollary When particulate levels go down, people live longer and healthier lives.
  33. 33. <ul><li>Stop burning wood </li></ul><ul><li>What could be simpler? </li></ul>

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