LETTER: Time to close the book on wood heating

I totally agree with the recent letter from Bob Bud telling the truth about wood smoke, and I am glad to see that Dr. Hasselback of Island Health is against wood smoke.

For 15 years I have been complaining about air quality in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region.

Newcomers are perhaps lured to this area by the prospect of the peace and quiet, wildlife and fresh air. Unfortunately, from October through March, fresh air is in short supply. Wood stoves, fireplaces and bonfires, as well as construction site fires are all a problem. There have to be more restrictions. Whatever the solution costs, it will be cheaper than health costs later.

In the city, I slept with an open window all year. In Nanoose it is not possible. Don’t try an evening walk unless you are prepared to inhale smoke particles. This negates any health benefits from the walk. We have essentially dealt with tobacco smoke. Does anyone think wood smoke is safer? We are in an area that is designated “rural,” but our houses are as close to each other as city dwellers. If we were living in a district with acre-sized lots, then some tolerance could be imagined. But we are not. Most of us here live within 20 metres of our neighbours.

Governments and health agencies understand the danger of breathing wood smoke. Areas of Metro Vancouver were changing the rules 30 years ago.

Let’s urge the RDN to get on with cleaning up our air now.

Ken Hay

Nanoose Bay

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