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Residential Wood Burning Fire Pits a Health Concern

  #1  
Old 06-08-2014, 08:31 AM
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Angry Residential Wood Burning Fire Pits a Health Concern

I can't stand neighbours in the city that have wood burning fire pits and use them every weekend. Not only are they bad for your health, but it means I must close my windows before the actual smoke gets in my house, which is an impossible task. How do you air out your house when someone has a nearby burning fire pit! The 1 neighbour says his kids like to roast marshmallows. This is the same guy that leaves his fire burning, smoking and not putting it out after he is done. The smoke goes in my residence and I am exposed to bad health issues.
Are you going to walk around your neighbourhood to warn me before you start a fire so I can close my windows as it will affect about 12 surrounding houses beside and behind you! Of course you are not, so don't start one!

Got the following info from: http://woodsmokehealth.org/images/ha...e-You-Burn.pdf

When wood is burned, the smoke contains fine particulate air pollution known as PM2.5. These tiny particles, about 1/70th the width of a human hair, can pass deep into the lungs and cause serious adverse health effects. High levels of fine particulates can result in difficulty breathing, aggravate asthma and even cause premature death for people with heart or lung disease.

1 fire pit is equal to the secondhand smoke from 800 cigarettes per minute.

The smoke created from wood burning can contribute significantly to air pollution and public health problems such as asthma and other respiratory ailments.

Exposure Adverse Effects:
Short-term: Asthma, breathing difficulties, Lung and eye irritation, Risk of heart attack or stroke
Long-term: Chronic lung and heart disease, Cancer, Premature death

Love The Smell?
Many enjoy the smell of a wood fire, but that’s benzene you’re smelling – it’s an aromatic hydrocarbon.
I personally can't stand the smell, nor will I ever have a wood burning fireplace in my home.
The young and the elderly are the ones most impacted, but if you have existing heart or lung disease it’s not good for you either.

Do yourself a favour and do not burn with wood or anything else. The only apparent reasonable safe burning stuff is charcoal and gas.

More info: Indoor Air: Residential Wood Burning - Additional Information | Improving Air Quality in Your Community | US EPA

Please don't burn wood!

 

Last edited by UseYourNoggin; 06-08-2014 at 05:49 PM.
  #2  
Old 06-12-2014, 02:14 AM
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Burning Wood is Environmentally Friendly
The high cost of energy for home heating has financially crippled many homeowners nationwide. The mission of Hawken Energy, Inc. includes providing homeowners a way to stay warm in their homes, without facing financial disaster, by burning wood.

Unfortunately, there is some incorrect information being spread around about wood burning. We are unsure of the exact reason this information is being spread – perhaps the large foreign oil companies are threatened by wood burning, or perhaps people are just afraid of something new and different. When automobiles started to become popular, they were opposed by those who favored horses and buggies. Times change, we adapt to these changes, and we move on – this is progress and it is why we as Americans are so successful.

Those opposed to burning wood make it sound like wood is the worst fuel in the world, and that it is somehow dangerous. After reading some of these articles, I almost feel like I should seal up my fireplace and turn up the fuel oil furnace. After quiet reflection, however, one realizes that any argument that burning wood is somehow more harmful than burning fossil fuels is preposterous.

Background of Wood Fuel
Let’s consider a few facts about wood burning:

Wood has been safely used as a fuel since the beginning of recorded history – longer than any other fuel. Fossil fuels have only been used for heating since the early 1900s. Prior to this, wood had been the primary fuel for as long as Planet Earth had been inhabited by man.

Wood is a renewable fuel. One of the reasons wood is such a perfect fuel is because it is renewable. This means that it can be “restored and replenished by nature in a period of time that is compatible with our human use”. The heat released from wood is actually stored energy from the sun--released when consumed in a wood burning device. Wood is an abundant resource in this country that is easily sustained. Provided they are cared for and managed properly, our forests can be a perpetual source of fuel, unlike gas, oil, and coal, which are being depleted at a rate that is astonishingly faster than the millions of years it took Nature to make them.

Wood burning is completely safe in terms of “Greenhouse Gasses” - All fuels produce carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, when they burn. When the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gasses increases, they cause the average global temperature to rise.

Wood differs from the fossil fuels coal, oil and gas, because it is part of the natural carbon/carbon dioxide cycle. As a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and stores it in the wood as carbon, which makes up about half of the weight of wood. When the wood is burned, carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere. No additional carbon is released because the same amount of carbon dioxide would be released if the tree died and were left to rot on the forest floor. The carbon in coal, oil and gas, by contrast, are taken from underground stores, usually from overseas, where they were deposited by Nature, and released into the air without means for equal reabsorption.

When trees are used for energy, a part of the forest's annual growth is diverted from the natural decay and forest fire cycle into our homes to heat them. Firewood is a natural energy product from the forest. Burning wood actually helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing the use of oil, gas and coal.1

The US Government states clearly that wood burning is not harmful to the environment in terms of Greenhouse Gasses: “Under international greenhouse gas accounting methods developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, biogenic carbon is part of the natural carbon balance and it will not add to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. Reporters may wish to use an emission factor of zero for wood, wood waste, and other biomass fuels in which the carbon is entirely biogenic.”2

Burning waste wood also benefits the environment because it reduces wood waste that would otherwise take space in landfills. "In the US, wood and paper thrown away each year is enough to heat 5 million homes for 200 years."3 Think about it – five million homes for 200 years. And that was ten years ago.4

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has specifically exempted outdoor wood furnaces from its emissions regulations.5

Per Btu, wood is much less expensive than fossil fuels – at current prices, natural gas is three times the cost of wood, propane is five times the cost of wood, and electricity is seven times the cost of wood.6

Though the use of any resource has an environmental impact, the use of wood as a fuel is much more in keeping with the natural cycles of ecosystem Earth. The heat produced by burning firewood is actually the warmth of the sun, stored in trees through the process of photosynthesis. When the sun abandons us during the cold dark days of winter, we liberate the sun’s heat through the “reverse photosynthesis” of burning. Like every other cycle in Nature, every process has its opposite.

What fuel will be used when the world runs out of oil – which is expected to happen within 50 years? The world is running out of fossil fuels. In a few years, the world’s inhabitants will have consumed one-half of the known fossil fuel reserves. Once this happens, fuel prices will skyrocket as fears of “running out” will become more of a reality.

“The volume of the world's petroleum reserves is important because of the fear that the oil will run out. This fear should be expected, because the estimated remaining one trillion barrels of crude oil is only enough to supply the world for about 50 years. This prediction is based on the present world consumption; however, world consumption is expected to increase.”7

Within 10 years, experts project the world oil demand will exceed production capacity by 20 million barrels per day. This will result in astronomical fuel prices to level the supply/demand curve. Homeowners will be forced to find and pursue alternative heating methods.

Though heating with wood may sound old fashioned, modern wood-burning appliances are anything but. Existing technology enables the use emissions control devices to almost entirely eliminate smoke emissions - this allows wood to give up to 75 percent seasonal efficiency while emitting 90 percent less smoke than before.8 Certain models currently available further reduce emissions by “gasifying” wood and then burning the gasses at extremely high temperatures, thus almost completely eliminating emissions.

Wood is a reliable fuel. In the midst of a winter storm when the power goes out or during an energy crisis rolling blackout, homeowners can still heat with wood. It gives both heat and comfort during times of emergency. Wood also gives freedom. Having the ability to burn wood for heat in a home gives more freedom and options for fuel. Many homeowners live away from natural gas pipelines and are forced to purchase much more costly fuels such as propane or fuel oil. Wood fuel allows a homeowner to no longer be dependent on large energy utilities that may or may not be able to supply energy.

Foreign fossil fuel suppliers simply don't like wood burning advocates. These foreign energy companies likely have lobbyists who aggressively support antiwood burning efforts. They try to tell us that wood smoke is bad for us, while offering only one solution: “Pay us for our fuel!” They do not mention that their fuel can never be replaced. They say “Go ahead, take our fossil fuels out of the earth. By the time your grandkids get old enough to need it, you'll be dead anyway, so why should you care?” This short-sighted view of the greedy billion dollar fossil fuel companies (who only care about their profits) should not be permitted to be a factor in your decision-making process.

Outdoor wood boilers take combustion outdoors. Therefore, households and businesses can reduce their insurance costs by using outdoor furnaces since outdoor combustion eliminates many risks of fire damage.

Some arguments against wood burning state that “Problems are aggravated if an outdoor wood boiler is…not operated according to manufacturer’s recommendations.” Most people are smart enough to realize that any piece of equipment will cause problems if not operated according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Furthermore, please consider the ramifications of a homeowner installing a conventional furnace in his basement and not operating it according to its manufacturer’s recommendations – his house could burn to the ground and possibly cause the death of the homeowner and his family. (An outdoor wood boiler located 50 feet away from a home would never cause a fire because it simply sends heated water into the house.) Almost any product not used in compliance with its manufacturer’s recommendations are dangerous, but an outdoor wood boiler is least among them.

The harvesting and burning of wood is an important economic factor in any community. It reduces a community’s dependence on foreign energy companies and it supports the local economy. There is no billion dollar wood fuel utility that will profit from wood burning or multinational corporations involved in the wood heat business. Most businesses that supply furnaces are small manufacturers and retailers. Local workers who chop firewood and chimney sweeps who service wood-heating systems get the benefit of local dollars.
 
  #3  
Old 06-12-2014, 08:05 AM
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Have you ever smelled wood in your house from a nearby fire pit! It is not nice and my article is correct about emissions. If you can't smell it it's because you are a smoker.
The reason why burning wood inside the home is Ok is because it gets exhausted many feet above your house and gets taken away properly, having a chance to dissipate in the air before reaching neighbours, whereas fire pits are at ground level. Also people do not necessarily chose clean dry wood or burn it with a good flame.
I have sinus issues and am sensitive to smell. I am actually totally disgusted with the smell of SMOKE and semi-allergic to it. I spent over 10 years in an apartment complex with wood burning fire pits and had to get out.
Again, the info in my first post is completely valid. When exhausted properly way high above your house it has a chance to dissipate in the atmosphere, fire pits do not.
Wood does not burn clean, although it may be within guidelines, but it must be exhausted properly hi up in the air.
Like the article says fire pits are like 800 cigarettes of 2nd hand smoke. If you think that's OK and acceptable, I have no good words for you.
 
  #4  
Old 06-12-2014, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by UseYourNoggin View Post
Have you ever smelled wood in your house from a nearby fire pit! It is not nice and my article is correct about emissions.
I sure hope you NEVER visit Vancouver Island.. They Slash burn 8 months out of the year, and in the spring all you can smell is burning wood.. personally i love the smell, it also keeps the biting bugs to a minimum..
 
  #5  
Old 06-12-2014, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Pantharen View Post
I sure hope you NEVER visit Vancouver Island.. They Slash burn 8 months out of the year, and in the spring all you can smell is burning wood.. personally i love the smell, it also keeps the biting bugs to a minimum..
Thanx for the heads up! Good to know about the keeping bugs away!
I used to go camping years ago, for camping it's fine as long as you have good clean wood and a good flame!
Here is an old pic of me camping with my 89 Ford Probe GT Turbo and Cerwin Vega 12" subs, Cerwin Vega 6x9's with circuit breaker button for tweeters!
I drank too much camping and always came back with sore throat, breathing issues.
Burning wood smell is fine, smoke isn't. If you live next to someone, make sure you warn them first before starting a fire, as you will cause someone serious health concerns. Maybe your neighbour is allergic or athsmatic. Don't be a stupid ***!

 

Last edited by UseYourNoggin; 10-09-2015 at 10:36 AM.
  #6  
Old 11-09-2014, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by useyournoggin View Post
thanx for the heads up! Good to know about the keeping bugs away!
I used to go camping years ago, for camping it's fine as long as you have good clean wood and a good flame!
Here is an old pic of me camping with my 89 ford probe gt turbo and cerwin vega 12" subs, cerwin vega 6x9's with circuit breaker button for tweeters!
I drank too much camping and always came back with sore throat, breathing issues.

and now, a word about noise
 
  #7  
Old 11-09-2014, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by goldsworthy View Post
and now, a word about noise
LOL!
I only went to party campsites---few and far between.
I've always had loud stereos in my cars.
Here's my latest:
Bass is where it's at. I only have a 600 watt alpine amp so i don't have to worry about upgrading my alternator. Upgraded battery with extra ground wires as stock ground does not take in to consideration a large amp! There is a fan beside the amp under the cover!





 
  #8  
Old 11-09-2014, 10:09 AM
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All plant life would die without carbon dioxide. Plants thrive on it and turn it into oxygen for us to breath. Our planet has had cycles of cold/hot for billions of years. Our puny existence has little effect on the planet. Dinosaurs bigger than your house in more abundance than humans thrived for 100 million years or so. The liberals would have us kill all cows because their farts might cause global warming. The whole global warming fiasco is literally just a money making scheme. This planet will cycle just like it has for over 4 billion years whether we are here or not. Volcano eruptions put out more poison than we have in the last 100 years.
 

Last edited by hixx; 11-09-2014 at 10:11 AM.
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