Sunday, August 31, 2014

Air quality should be on the public agenda

I was delighted to read Nancy M. Kelly's letter to the editor [Sentinel Review, Aug. 12]  on the subject of fire pits.  Ms. Kelly accurately highlights the relationships between fire pits, polluted air, human health, and associated health care costs.

On the website, our federal government opens the topic with a blunt headline: AVOID WOOD SMOKE.  The reason follows:  "...wood smoke contains a number of pollutants that can be harmful to your health".  The main pollutants and their effects are listed, as are the groups especially vulnerable to wood smoke:  people with heart or lung problems, and children.

Many nearby cities (e.g. Brantford, Cambridge, Waterloo, Hamilton and Guelph) don't allow open air burning in residential areas.

Wouldn't it be a good thing if local air quality, fire pits, and related health concerns were higher on the public agenda as the municipal election approaches.

For further reading, including links to health and environmental websites, go to:

The above text was published as a "Letter to the Editor" in the Sentinel Review,  August 20, 2014.

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