Cleaner air and winter warmth

Yes, it’s true: Oregon’s air isn’t always that great.

Stagnant air made particle pollution so bad in Eugene-Springfield in December 2018 that they issued a temporary ban on wood burning for the first time since 2015. Multnomah County created the same authority to issue a ban when public health is in danger.

But even when the air

outdoors is not unhealthy, an inefficient wood-burning stove, fireplace or fire pit could be taking a toll on your health.

Fine particles from wood burning can reach unhealthy levels indoors from inefficient wood burning. These particles can raise risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke, miscarriages and pre-term birth, and damage to children’s lungs.

If you can switch to a heat source that’s cleaner than wood, several options can improve your health and our air quality. If switching out your stove not an option, you can cut down on pollution by choosing the cleanest wood, burning it the cleanest way, in the cleanest appliance.

Check out:

Types of wood you should never burn:

  • Plywood or particle board (layers or pieces of wood held together with glue)
  • Treated wood (green or rust-colored, with holes in a pattern that look like staple holes)
  • Painted or stained wood
  • Driftwood (can release toxics when burned)
  • Wet, green, or freshly cut wood (dry wood aged 6 months burns best. Tap two pieces together: a hollow sound indicates that they are dry and aged).
  • Soft woods like pine and spruce (apple, oak, and yellow spruce burn more efficiently and with less smoke and tarry residue).
  • Big pieces of wood (split wood burns more efficiently).

 

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