Tomorrow, Thursday, January 6, 2011 has been declared a Winter Spare the Air Day for the Bay Area by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
To reduce your contribution to air pollution, please consider taking transit, telecommuting.
Wood burning is a major cause of wintertime particulate matter (PM) pollution in the Bay Area. The presence of fine particulate matter in the air is associated with:
- Decreased lung function
- Aggravated asthma
- Nose and throat irritation
- Chronic bronchitis
- Lung damage
- Irregular heart beat
- Premature death in people with lung and heart disease
From baaqmd.gov, here are 10 things you can do to reduce wood smoke pollution:
- Give your fireplace or wood stove the night off.
- Replace your fireplace or wood stove with a clean burning natural gas device.
- Insulate your house to keep warmth in.
- Save energy and reduce pollution by wearing a sweater on chilly nights.
- Switch to an EPA-certified wood burning device or pellet stove, which emit up to 70% less PM.
- Burn clean, hotter fires with plenty of air, in order to prevent visible smoke from a chimney or flue; smoke which indicates poor combustion so adjust dampers or fuel accordingly.
- Never burn, painted wood, treated wood, particle board, plastics, wrapping paper or other garbage; burning them releases toxic chemicals.
- Burn only dry hardwood fuel such as oak or cherry, which produces less smoke and burns hotter; never burn wet wood.
- Store wood in a dry or covered area, off the ground to keep it from getting wet.
- Keep your fireplace and stove well maintained to improve air flow and reduce emissions.
For more information, visit sparetheair.org.