Everyone Deserves

Everyone Deserves to Breathe Clean Air

by Julie Mellum, President, Take Back the Air

Everyone deserves to breathe clean air as often as possible—not just when the smog is so bad that there is no alternative but to ban the huge source of fine particulate pollution that caused the elevated smog levels in the first place.

Take Back the Air stresses that the seriousness of wood smoke pollution cannot be overstated!

EPA approved stoves are not the answer. That’s like saying Camel Lights are okay, but regular Camels aren’t. How can you tell if someone is smoking Camels or Camel Lights if you’re breathing their smoke?

According to a doctor at the Harvard School of Medicine (exact citations are readily available), there is no safe level of wood smoke. Wood smoke stresses the immune systems of everyone—even healthy people..

Wood smoke mixes with other air pollutants, and the combination can result in even more devastating and unpredictable health effect, as happened in the “London Smog Incident” of 1956 or 1957, when coal and wood smoke combined with other particulates in the air and resulted in the death of over 4000 people! Since that time, wood and coal burning have been banned in London, as well as in other larger cities in England.

It is misguided to allow wood smoke pollution to get to a super high point where a burning ban has to be mandated to get dangerous particulates to go down. Why not ban burning so that the particle pollution doesn’t go so high in the first place?

Just as cigarettes have now been banned in bars and restaurants in many states, so wood smoke needs to be banned. We haven’t accomplished anything with indoor bans if you leave a restaurant and enter a different world of smoke—outdoor smoke that filters into the homes and lungs of others.

People do not have a right to invade the airspace of others who have a right and a need to breathe clean air.

It is barbaric to burn wood, especially with asthma skyrocketing in children and in people of all ages, and other cancers and serious environmentally-related diseases. We need new solutions—and new ways to address the problem. Ban wood smoke!

Take Back the Air
4316 Upton Ave S, Suite 204, Minneapolis, MN 55410