Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Lung Association (Why I no longer support this organization)

The Lung Association appears to be either
1) ignorant of all the health issues associated with air pollution, wood smoke, and PM2.5, OR
2) unwilling to offend or alienate the wood-burning public by telling the truth.

Concerning fireplaces, we are told to “burn smart”, properly install and maintain, store wood properly, and (laughably) “ a window a little bit to ensure a good supply of fresh air into your home.”  🤣🤣🤣
Did HPBCA, WETT, or another industry organization write this nonsense?
Shouldn’t the Lung Association condemn residential wood burning as strongly as it condemns smoking???

Do you have a fireplace in your home? Wood burning indoors can produce high levels of dangerous particles and gases that can be easily inhaled into the lungs. Be sure to "burn smart" if you use a fireplace.

Many Canadian homes have fireplaces for ambience and extra warmth. Some homes burn wood as the main source of heat. It is important to follow a number of key steps when burning any wood indoors.


  • Inspect your chimneys and flues annually for corrosion, blockages, and cracks that could let dangerous gases (e.g. carbon monoxide) enter your home.
  • When using your fireplace, open a window a little bit to ensure a good supply of fresh air into your home.
  • Do not burn plastics, newspapers, magazines, painted wood, or cardboard as they can all release dangerous chemicals into your home's air.
  • Make sure wood is stored outdoors, dried, kept off the ground, and loosely covered.
  • When installing a fireplace, be sure that it is installed by a certified contractor who will ensure proper installation and safety. Check to see if they are a Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) certified member.
  • Poorly maintained and inefficient fireplaces can lead to difficulty breathing, coughing, irritation of the lungs, and asthma attacks in sensitive individuals.
  • Ensure your wood burning appliances are being used properly and not causing breathing problems or making air unpleasant for your neighbours.

SHOCKINGLY  bad advice offered about outdoor burning:  
1) no distinction concerning fuels (wood, charcoal, gas, propane)
2) implying these activities are safe under appropriate air quality and weather conditions, and if “not located too close to the home”

In reality a wood burning fire pit will blanket an entire neighbourhood with toxic smoke.

Barbequing and sitting around the backyard fire pit are common Canadian summertime activities. It is important to use them properly to prevent any health issues from exposure to pollutants.

  • Monitor your air quality and weather forecast to determine wind conditions and any air alerts that may be occurring when you're planning on using a barbeque or fire pit. Try not to do any outdoor burning on a hazy or smog day, when the air quality reading is poor, or when there is no wind as it will keep wood smoke particles close to the ground where people can inhale them. Also, do not light a fire pit during windy conditions as this can cause sparks to fly around and cause the fire to get out of control.
  • Make sure your barbeque or fire pit is not located too close to the home as any drifting smoke can easily get indoors through windows or doors.

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