Air Quality Alert: Wood Smoke Pollution
While many of us enjoy the warmth and coziness of a wood stove or fireplace, few realize just how dangerous wood smoke is. Burning wood releases high levels of tiny particles and gases that harm our health. The cancer risk from a lifetime of exposure to wood smoke is 12 times greater than being exposed to the equivalent amount of cigarette smoke.
While wood smoke is a serious health issue anywhere wood is burned, several Oregon communities have violated (or are in danger of violating) federal air quality standards due to wood smoke pollution, including Burns, Eugene, Grants Pass, Hillsboro/Washington County, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Lakeview, Medford, Oakridge, Pendleton and Prineville.
Oregon Environmental Council supports the good efforts of these communities and the state’s air quality agencies (Department of Environmental Quality and Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority) to help people understand the dangers of wood smoke, provide incentives to replace wood stoves, and curtail burning on the worst air quality days.