2010 Jan. 23: CA: COMMENTS on “Wood smoke is ok” comment

smokelessinvanco uver

Vancouver, Canada

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#19

Saturday Jan 23
 
wise wrote:
having purched several wood burning stoves and a pellet stove in calif. i forgot one thing. these stoves had to have a ul rating and approval by the state and county building inspectors before they could be installed. if the stoves have been approved how can the carb or who ever say you can’t use them?

One thing that I have learned since I have become a wood smoke activist is just because the government has set up standards for something doesn’t mean that the standards are really safe for people. Sad but true. With these new stoves people are still the prime operators and that still leaves room for burning anything anyway legal or not. Again no matter how you do it, burning wood is not a clean renewable energy source as many would like you to believe.

Vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#20

Saturday Jan 23
 
The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right. In many places residential smoke is also against nuisance bylaws and can be legally challenged. Of course it takes sensitive neighbours and obnoxious burners to make a fight. I suppose some enjoy fighting? In my opinion reasonable people would learn better ways to keep warm, especially when near others, and butt out or at least reduce their smoking.

vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#39

Sunday Jan 24
 
Like honey bees calmed by the keeper’s smoker, so us humans like to be stunned by the aroma of all sorts of smoke, candles, almond wood, incense, marijuana, wood smoke, etc. Who doesn’t like the smell of bacon & eggs around a campfire. Go to it, folks, breathe it all in. Live for the moment, who gives a #$%^ about the long term health effects!
vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#40

Sunday Jan 24
 
Up here in Canada, we just find a big-boar grizzly bear for heat and then cuddle up to him all winter long. When he wakes up, we get out fast. At least it is colder here in Canada in the winter. Why the #$%^ would you even need external heat down there in your wonderful palm tree country?
vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#41

Sunday Jan 24
 
Here is a list of “silly reasons” why “wood smoke is safe” collected from those in favour of burning wood. I would like to collect more. Please submit any “gems” of your own. A smile sometimes helps through smoky times.

Only a few burn wood, so wood smoke is safe.
Only a few doctors in are against burning wood, so wood smoke is safe.
My gramma made apple pies in a wood stove, so wood smoke is safe.
The Holy Books say that God likes smoke, so wood smoke is safe.
The cave men used fires, so wood smoke is safe.
The senior levels of government support biomass, so wood smoke is safe.
All the asthmatics have left town, so wood smoke is safe.
That guy is 100 and still smokes, so wood smoke is safe.
Campfire smoke always follows people, so wood smoke is safe.
Wood smoke smells like bacon and eggs, so wood smoke is safe.
I live in the clean air of the forest, so wood smoke is safe.
What would happen if the power went out, so wood smoke is safe.
The mills produce as much smoke as 1000’s of stoves, so wood smoke is safe.
Everyone knows that the dust is bad, so wood smoke is safe.
Smokers do not smoke wood shavings, so wood smoke is safe.
I am just drying the gyproc, so wood smoke is safe.
Cigarettes only kill half of the smokers, so wood smoke is safe.
Diesel locomotives and trucks are really bad, so wood smoke is safe.
Smoke toughens the immune system, so wood smoke is safe.
Everyone can see and smell the mill pollution, but wood smoke is safe.
Forest fires produce more smoke, so my wood smoke is safe.
Smoking salmon preserves the fish, so also my lungs are preserved.

smokelessinvanco uver

Vancouver, Canada

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#30

Saturday Jan 23
 
Times have changed. What was once considered a harmless practice is now recognized as a major source of air pollution. Weren’t cigarettes considered
harmless. Why are people that burn so scared to actually believe that burning wood is very harmful to everything and everyone. How can anyone put their neighbours and their own kids in harms way?
Jaguar

Montreal, Canada

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#31

Saturday Jan 23
 
Wise, why don’t you go into the woods where the smoke is blowing, and breath in the smoke for awhile or maybe not as the woods keep growing more wood you may loss your way back to your filthy wood stove…just go into the woods, and breath the smoke!

smokelessinvanco uver

Vancouver, Canada

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#19

Saturday Jan 23
 
wise wrote:
having purched several wood burning stoves and a pellet stove in calif. i forgot one thing. these stoves had to have a ul rating and approval by the state and county building inspectors before they could be installed. if the stoves have been approved how can the carb or who ever say you can’t use them?

One thing that I have learned since I have become a wood smoke activist is just because the government has set up standards for something doesn’t mean that the standards are really safe for people. Sad but true. With these new stoves people are still the prime operators and that still leaves room for burning anything anyway legal or not. Again no matter how you do it, burning wood is not a clean renewable energy source as many would like you to believe.

Vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#20

Saturday Jan 23
 
The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right. In many places residential smoke is also against nuisance bylaws and can be legally challenged. Of course it takes sensitive neighbours and obnoxious burners to make a fight. I suppose some enjoy fighting? In my opinion reasonable people would learn better ways to keep warm, especially when near others, and butt out or at least reduce their smoking.

WhoOwnsTheAir

Clinton Township, MI

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#17

Saturday Jan 23
 
Replying to wise

Actually, EPA stove usage is only disallowed in California on certain days when air pollution levels are above certain levels.(35 ug /m3)

Jaguar

Montreal, Canada

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#10

Friday Jan 22
 
HOW DARE YOU LIE TO THE PUBLIC!
THESE WOOD STOVES ARE DEADLY TO EVERYONE INCLUDING TO THE HEALTHY
AND OUR ENVIRONMENT.
SOUNDS LIKE GREED IS TALKING ON YOUR BEHAVE, AND NOT HAVING A CARE FOR ONE’S LIFE!!
DO YOU LIVE NEXT TO A NEIGHBOUR WHO USES WOOD STOVES AS THEIR PRIMARY SOURCE OF HEATING, LET ME TELL YOU IT’S HELL?, AND PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE PROMOTING THIS CRAP JUST TO FOOL THE PUBLIC FOR THEIR MONEY.

MAKES ME SICK KNOWING PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE OUT THERE!

Jaguar

Montreal, Canada

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#11

Friday Jan 22
 
Jeff, think of the lives you are placing in harms way, and not the money to be gain from ones sufferings.
smokelessinvanco uver

Vancouver, Canada

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#12

Friday Jan 22
 
All residential wood smoke is a serious health hazard and major contributor to global warming. Everyone needs to change their ways as earth our only home
is not ours to destroy. We need to change to cleaner alternative energies rather than keep rehashing over and over again about burning wood. It is a dirty, polluting, harmful energy plain and simple no matter how you dress it, it is
black carbon, soot and deadly.
www.canadiancleanairalliance.ca
Vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#13

Friday Jan 22
 
Jeff Philbrook brings up some points in favour of burning wood that seem to make sense. I argue with them as follows.

First, Jeff claims that “information from an advocate is incomplete and misleading”.
His support of wood burning is also incomplete and misleading. Humans by nature are biased by parents, teachers, personal experience and the written word of so-called experts. We forget that not all writing is honest or correct and cannot be thoroughly checked since we have so little time. We should be thankful for the freedom to express our opinions and the opportunity to try to change behaviours in a reasonable way.

Second, Jeff claims that “burning wood can be clean”.
I agree that EPA and pellet stoves can seem cleaner than an open fireplace but the chemistry of wood burning should never be the clean choice for a modern society. Burning wood in rural areas is generally OK as long as no one complains. The atmosphere has things like rain to clean out smoke. However, history, like the London smog of 1952, shows how too much smoke mixed with fog holds a danger to lungs. In that case the main cause was coal fireplaces, which were then banned in London. However, wood produces even more smoke than coal for the amount of heat produced and is not a decent substitute. Coal comes from wood and even the sulphur content of that coal probably was in the original wood unless sulphur somehow gets leached into the coal by other means. The theory that wood makes no acid rain is probably just a matter of low concentration.

Vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#14

Friday Jan 22
 
Third, Jeff claims that “Converting wood to heat merely changes the location of the carbon from a tree and makes it available for new/other trees to grow.”
The carbon dioxide from wood is the same chemically as the carbon dioxide from coal. Of course we should reduce fossil fuels, but to encourage wood is blatant bias. The actual chemical composition of wood means that it produces more carbon dioxide than coal. Of course, society uses a small fraction of wood as compared to fossil fuels but just imagine the stack of wood needed to equal coal, oil, or natural gas.

Fourth, Jeff claims “the greatest threat to world health is global warming”.
Many would disagree with that statement, especially since warming would lessen the need for so much external heat. People near rising oceans need our consideration, but so do neighbours who are sensitive to smoke.

Fifth, Jeff claims “wood produces very little mercury, while coal produces a lot”.
I know very little about this but like the sulphur in coal, where does the mercury in coal come from? This is a good point to examine further and maybe mercury in wood is not noticed since very small amounts of wood are used as compared to fossil fuels.

Vronald

Prince George, Canada

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#15

Friday Jan 22
 
Sixth, Jeff claims “our elected officials have burdened us with local "air-protection" districts with the authority to impose onerous burdens and fines for using a heat source that does not add carbon to the atmosphere, is approved by the feds, results in saving the user money during this recession and is the only renewable (wind, solar and hydro do not need to be renewed) source of energy I know of.“
This is all OK if there were only a few people who use wood. Now imagine if ALL used wood like in the pioneer or cavemen days instead of other sources. Who should have the privilege to use wood? Those who put in the effort? Wood burning is really a matter of degree. Like hunting or fishing who gets to use the resource? If everyone did we would soon have a crisis. And the bottom line is the amount of smoke produced in total, which is only negligible in sparsely populated areas.

Seven, Jeff claims “wood smoke is negligible on asthma”.
Some studies show that when the PM2.5 gets near 30 um/m3 many health effects kick in. If less and less wood is used that is wonderful, so why make it worse by now promoting wood.

In summary, to say that wood should be encouraged instead of fossil fuels is short-sighted. The basic complaint against wood centers around the smoke produced. Wood burning will never be as clean as the other fossil fuels and so we really need a change in basic attitude. A better solution for crowded places is to produce individual body heat by getting more active, supported by decent food. We can wear warmer clothes even inside a colder house out of consideration for others. We got used to cheap heat with cheap fossil fuels but now can get rid of the silly delusion of needing all that external heat. Wood burners should butt out because of the extreme amounts of smoke produced per unit of heat, and we should all reduce our use of fossil fuels

WhoOwnsTheAir

Clinton Township, MI

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#7

Friday Jan 22
 
So-called "EPA-low-emission-woodsto ves" offer a slight improvement from smoke and odor, but they are a long way from "clean." The particulates are much smaller (~0.07µm) than "visible smoke" particles (~2.5µm) But they are still there, numerically equal to ordinary stove emissions. Ultra fine particles cannot be seen because they don’t effectively scatter visible light wavelengths.(think of a log burning down; it gets smaller as it burns)

Also, hard-to-combust emissions such as benzene,(a potent carcinogen) are even *more plentiful* in EPA stove effluent. In order to actually "burn up" the particles completely, wood combustion must take place at temperatures above 2,000°F. A cast iron stove would glow nearly white-hot (and melt) in such an inferno. You actually need a blast furnace to burn off wood smoke completely into CO2 and water vapor.

A lot of people use old-fashioned stoves, fireplaces, outdoor burning in fire pits, and farmers burn fields. We cannot expect the air to clear up with all of this reckless burning, either.

Dr Dorothy L Robinson

Port Macquarie, Australia

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#8

Friday Jan 22
 
Anyone who thinks wood stoves don’t add carbon to the atmosphere should read the research on methane and black carbon published by NASA scientists. See Nature Geoscience 2, 294–300 (2009) and www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5…

Smoke is produced by incomplete burning, as is methane. If the smoke is bad enough to exceed the air quality standards (set to protect people’s health), the methane will be causing more global warming than heating the same houses with gas. As for black carbon, Al Gore called on the world to burn less wood to reduce Arctic warming: www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/28/bl…

Anyone who really cares about global warming will replace a wood stove that produces more than the occasional puff of visible smoke with more environmentally friendly heating – solar, gas, reverse cycle electric.

Jeff may describe the emissions of EPA-certified stoves as “minimal”, but the truth is that the average EPA-certified stove produces as much toxic PM2.5 pollution per year as 100 passenger cars. Anyone who thinks the pollution from 100 passenger cars doing their entire year’s driving round and round the house represents “minimal pollution” should take everything else Jeff says with a pinch of salt.

bodhi

Sioux Falls, SD

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#9

Friday Jan 22
 
it’s not too difficult to realize that when wood is burned for recreation or as a source of heat in a village or suburban area the byproducts of the burning will impact people living in proximity to the burner. often in winter there are inversion layers that will actually hold the toxic byproducts at or near ground level. there is plenty of science now showing that the toxic chemistry resulting from wood burning is extremely bad for human health.
knowing this, the wood burner must investigate his reason for burning.
why would someone engage in an act that is detrimental to oneself and others living near by. it is time to ban wood burning. enough of this prehistoric tradition. if we cannot act upon new knowledge, then we will go the way of the dinosaur: extinction.
follow the links to learn about wood smoke:
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/92046.pdf
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/91br023.pdf
 
Air Freedom

El Paso, IL

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#3

Thursday Jan 21
 
I think you are getting your wires crossed.

Outdoor Wood Boilers and Furnaces are a completely different animal than pellet burners, indoor wood stoves, or even chimneys.

They are especially flawed in design and are designed to smoke.

It has been proven many times in many ways in many countries that wood smoke particulates are not good for a person’s health. Just because you cannot visibly see smoke does not mean the PM 2.5 particulates are not in the air.

It is foolish to state wood smoke is ok, as many studies and health professionals have proven it not to be.

 

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