Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Open Air Burning and Heart Attacks (To Council, #3)

Saturday July 7 was a horribly smoky, unpleasant evening in my neighbourhood here in Woodstock.

Are you aware that wood smoke causes heart attacks?

The results of a recent Canadian study are summarized here:
“By comparing pollution data from three cities in British Columbia (Prince George, Kamloops and Courtenay/Comox) with hospital admissions, researchers from McGill and Health Canada found that rising concentrations of fine particulate air pollution caused by wood burning were associated with increased hospitalization for myocardial infarction. During the cold season, when pollution from woodstoves is at its highest, the risk of heart attacks among subjects of 65 years and older increased by 19%.
“We noticed that the association was stronger when more of the air pollution came from wood burning, says McGill University professor Scott Weichenthal, lead author of a new study published in Epidemiology.”

Here’s a statement from the American Heart Association:
“In sensitive populations, exposure to PM2.5 for even a few hours or days can trigger cardiovascular disease-related deaths from heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia, sudden cardiac arrest, and heart failure. Short- term increases in PM2.5 levels lead to the early death of tens of thousands of Americans every year.”

PM2.5 is a carcinogen.
PM2.5 increases the risk of developing diabetes.
PM2.5 causes heart attacks.
PM2.5 is a major component of wood smoke.

How can Woodstock Council justify the policy of open air burning?

The above text was sent by e-mail to each member of Council on July 11, 2018.

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