People burning wet wood on inefficient stoves are poisoning themselves and their neighbours, according to a new report from a leading thinktank. The IPPR study highlights the “shocking contribution” domestic wood and coal fires make to the UK’s air pollution crisis, which causes 40,000 early deaths a year and devastating health problems for hundreds of thousands of others. “For almost 2 million homes in the UK, solid fuels, particularly wood, are a part of everyday life,” said Josh Emden, research fellow at the IPPR and co-author of the report. “For many this is the enjoyment of a warm log fire, for others it is the only way to heat their homes – but the reality is that, without stringently tested, hyperefficient stoves and properly dried wood, people are unknowingly poisoning themselves, their children and their neighbours.” Although many of the health problems caused by air pollution come from traffic fumes, the study points out that burning wood, coal or other solid fuels in the home is the largest single contributor to production of the most dangerous pollutant, known as particulate matter: tiny particles that penetrate deep into the body.
Guardian 11th Oct 2018 read more »