For many Minnesotans, burning wood to heat their home is a time-honored tradition and a way to save on heating bills. For others, the aroma of wood smoke often conjures up a romantic or nostalgic ambience.
Unfortunately, wood smoke contains toxics and harmful microscopic particles. And the appliance you use, how it’s installed and maintained, and the type of wood you burn – all make a difference to both the heating efficiency and the amount of harmful pollution emitted.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) want to remind citizens of the health dangers from wood smoke, especially from fireplaces, older wood stoves and “backyard” boilers.
Indoor and outdoor exposures to pollution emitted from these appliances pose the greatest threat to owners and their neighbors than EPA-certified stoves. Health risks are highest among susceptible populations, including young children and people of all ages with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases.
The following information provides steps that wood-burning appliance owners, their neighbors and communities can take to protect their health and improve Minnesota’s air quality.
- health effects of wood smoke
- wood burning best practices
- cleaner-burning appliances
- wood smoke problems and complaints
- burn barrels and backyard garbage burning – risks, information, and resources
MPCA staff can provide further information about wood stove emissions, and other technical assistance if needed. Contact John Seltz at 651-757-2714