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Where There’s Smoke, There’s Pollution

Out here in Northern California, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (BAAQMD’s) winter “Spare the Air” campaign is really catching on. The agency has a new TV commercial, and runs ads asking people to “Check Before You Burn,” on the sides of buses.  We even hear people in restaurants talking about not burning on spare the air days.

Unfortunately, the take away message that many people seem to get from BAAQMD’s ad campaign is that wood burning is okay, except on those days during the winter when an alert is called.  The information that wood smoke is hazardous to everyone’s health, and that smoky fires are banned year round, is not getting through to the public. [click to continue…]

Does Wood Smoke Make You Sick?

Now is the time to take action. The American Lung Association in California is looking for people to take part in a new public relations campaign to raise awareness about the negative health impacts of wood smoke.  If you would like to share your story and are willing to speak to the media, click here to send us an email, or call Jenny Bard at the American Lung Association at 707-527-5864.

Soot is a Major Factor in Global Warming

Soot from burning wood and fossil fuels not only harms the health of humans, it is harming our planet as well.

Soot, also called black carbon, is a major factor in global warming, concludes Stanford’s Mark Z. Jacobson, leader of the university’s Atmosphere and Energy program and a professor of civil and environmental engineering. See his recent report in the Journal of Geophysical Research here, or read David Perlman’s San Francisco Chronicle story about Jacobson’s finding’s here.

Everyone Deserves to Breathe Clean Air

Julie Mellum, president of Take Back the Air, reminds us, “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.” Read more here.

Natural Does Not Mean Harmless

Deborah Schoch, Center for Health Reporting, notes that many people think that wood smoke, being “natural” must therefore be harmless. They are often unaware of the harmful toxins and particulates in wood smoke. Read more here.