LETTER: Wood stoves a health hazard

Re: Medical officer urges local governments to address smoke issues (The NEWS, Oct. 5).

Dr. Paul Hasselback pointed out in a recent article in the PQB News “Wood burning in winter was associated with a 19 per cent increase in hospitalization for heart attacks among seniors.”

It has long been known that the emissions from wood stoves is a health hazard. More evidence of harm to both climate and health is being learned almost daily.

Wood stove emissions are composed almost entirely of PM2.5, a major component of air pollution.

Neighbors of homes heating with wood are being subjected to air pollution levels hundreds of times higher than those heating with cleaner forms of heat even if all one sees is heat waves coming from the chimney.

The list of health outcomes from breathing PM2.5 is long, from premature birth, dementia to lung cancer.

It has been proven there is no safe level of PM2.5. Living beside a home heated with wood is as bad and worse as the wildfire smoke experienced this summer but can last for seven months.

Air quality in Parksville can be checked at parksville.purpleair.org

Bill Lewin

Parksville

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