August 14th, 2020

Protecting clean air is important

By Letter to the Editor on October 3, 2019.

The recent Global Climate Strike has highlighted the importance of a healthy environment and the interconnections between climate, air quality and public health. Hopefully, here in Lethbridge, the movement toward continued positive change can include all residents having equal access to clean, healthy, smoke-free air throughout the upcoming winter, as more people choose cleaner alternatives to wood burning, including natural gas, while appreciating progress being made toward the use and availability of even cleaner, non-combustible energy sources.

If you don’t burn wood in the city, where homes are close together and where everyone shares the air, thank you for helping to protect our shared airshed, and the health and well-being of citizens.

If you do currently burn wood in the city, where both people and animals nearby are forced to breathe the unavoidable toxic exhaust, please stop – as recommended by the Canadian Lung Association, which advises on its official website that people should not burn wood in a residential setting.

Protecting clean air matters.

Cathy Baiton


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6 Responses to “Protecting clean air is important”

  1. biff says:

    the smell of a fireplace on a cold winter night is near as cozy as is the warmth and sight and sound when gathered around. and sitting by an open fire outdoors is also a relaxing treat. so long as the fire is managed responsibly under calm conditions, with cured wood and kept to a simpler size, we should be good to go. of course, if your fire pit sends its smoke through the window of an unwanting neighbour, it would be most considerate to avoid outdoor fires. as for indoor fires, one would expect the windows of neighbours will be closed.

  2. Bill Lewin says:

    Wood smoke is uniquely toxic among all sources of urban air pollution. For example, the EPA estimates that the lifetime cancer risk from wood stove smoke is 12 times greater than that from an equal volume of secondhand tobacco smoke. Particles in wood smoke are extraordinarily small, behaving essentially like gases, making them easy to inhale but less likely to be exhaled. They are then distributed by the blood throughout the body, causing inflammation and biologic disruption wherever they go. Attached to these tiny particles are at least 200 of the most toxic compounds known — dioxins, furans, formaldehyde, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. One fireplace burning 10 pounds of wood in an hour will generate nearly as many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as 3,000 packs of cigarettes. No one in their right mind, even a smoker, would think lighting up 3,000 packs of cigarettes every hour during a cozy winter evening would be a good idea. Dr Brian Moench

  3. johnny57 says:

    Yes Cathy I do burn wood in my garage to heat it for our sometimes long and cold winters and in my firepit. If you can let me know how I can heat my garage as economically as I am doing it now…I will stop in a instant! I need a warm garage to help facilitate the work I am in. But until you or somebody else comes along and shows me how I can accomplish this, you are just whistling-dixie. After all it does really boil-down to money doesn’t it!

  4. h2ofield says:

    Looking forward to supplementing my home heating with some wonderful cedar pieces I was given over the summer…burns great and smells fantastic!

  5. […] Baiton / 11 mins ago 10/08/2019 Letter by Cathy Baiton, printed in the Lethbridge Herald,¬†Letters, October 3, […]

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