Reducing Wood Smoke Pollution Saves Lives
A new study published in the British Journal of Medicine has found that reducing wood smoke pollution from wood stoves is associated with significantly reduced risk of death. The study, which was conducted in Australia, looked at a community in which wood stove prevalence fell from 66% to 30% after implementation of a series of interventions aimed at reducing wood smoke. This resulted in a 40% reduction in wintertime air pollution and in reduced all-cause, cardiovascular and respiratory mortality during the period of improved air quality.
The researchers note that their findings “highlight the potential for important public health gains from interventions to reduce ambient pollution from biomass smoke”.
Scientists have long known that air pollution contributes to human sickness and death. A study by Cornell professor David Pimentel estimates that air pollution from smoke and various chemicals kills 3 million people a year worldwide, and hundreds of studies document the harmful effects of wood smoke pollution on human health.
Simply put, reducing wood smoke pollution reduces deaths.