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Old 19th March 2012, 04:46   #1 (permalink)
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Wood-burning and Health

As someone avoiding controversial issues, I can't help but cringe whenever I read that many of you- unfortunately confronted with low temperatures and no central heating, keep warm by resorting to the cozy and ageless method of burning wood.

Having enjoyed many hours facing a fireplace, I understand the temptation. But recently I became curious as to why municipalities everywhere were outlawing this private practice. After some research in scientific journals of chemical toxicology, I became aware of how detrimental to health (how alarmingly carcinogenic it is) inhaling the ''particulate matter'' (even hundreds of meters away), is reported to be.

As someone hypercritical of medical research studies and government policies informed by industrial orientations, I read scientific report upon scientific report, all the way up to the WHO.

Have you guys googled this recently?

In sharing this concern here, I should add that I generally oppose collective interventions on individual liberties; for as long as individuals decide to continue smoking by taking personal responsibility for their lifestyle's possible effects on their health, I'm ok with it. (Vive la liberte!)

But just like I wasn't aware of this health hazard, I wonder whether those of you enjoying your fireplaces as I did mine- are aware of how wood burning is dangerously toxic.
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Old 19th March 2012, 05:27   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

your supposed to let the smoke go up the chimney!
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Old 19th March 2012, 06:33   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

I have to admit that after my first winter living in Bulgaria, mine and Eric have had terrible coughs. Everyone in bg light wood burners and we had 3 days of fog early January that trapped the particles and it was reported on the news that the pollution was at an all time high. Not good.
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Old 19th March 2012, 06:58   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

thıs ıs all very well but try convıncıng one of the local turkısh famılıes ın my area to go wıthout theır soba ın wınter and theyd be most upset--there ıs no maıns gas here and even ıf there was they couldnt afford central heatıng systems---they can however usually allways fınd a bıt of wood to burn and ıt costs them nothıng--ı see them everyday ın wınter brıngıng home bıts of wood and breakıng ıt up--a few years ago before ı lıved here ı had my old wooden floors rıpped out and replaced --ı put the wood ın the street wıth a cardboard sıgn sayıng BEDAVA---free---never seen anythıng go so quıck and that was ın summer.I dont know how you would serıously stop or re-educate turks from usıng theır sobas--and every year there are many deaths --often of whole famılıes --on the turkısh news--- through the fumes from these thıngs ---other methods of heatıng are not affordable for ordınaıry turkısh famılıes so they are stuck usıng these terrıbly dangerous thıngs although the heat they churn out ıs wonderfull.
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Old 19th March 2012, 07:49   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

Interesting post, I actually have a carbon monoxide detector and I think anyone who has a soba should invest in one, though I doubt a lot of Turks can afford them sadly.

I did find a good article that I read before explaining the health issues regarding soba's

http://www.google.com.tr/url?sa=t&rc...tNqnEKErFWatJg
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Old 19th March 2012, 16:20   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

have noticed a lot this year around fethiye the smell of people burning plastic, maybe due to the recent cold winter,
wood fumes seem insignificant compared to plastic, cyanide springs to mind.!
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Old 19th March 2012, 17:08   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

When I lived in Ankara the family would chuck anything in the fire. I was furious when my wellies went missing. I wore them on my wedding day for goodness sake. We went away for a few weeks and when we came home half the furniture had gone!!

Everyone was aware of the fumes problem though. Every Spring the pipes came down and were carefully washed for the next winter. Smokey leaks were watched for. It was worrying but it is lovely and hot.

We lived in Dikmen which is like a bowl surrounded by hills and just filled with pollution in winter. As far as the eye could see it was black smoke chugging out of chimneys. Yuk!
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Old 19th March 2012, 17:51   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

Suzyq......a brilliant link thank you. And it has some equally useful links.

I have investigated a wood burning stove from a British maker, supplying Turkey and found these links very informative. Many thanks,

M
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Old 19th March 2012, 21:01   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

Thanks for the informative posts concerning this practice in Turkey. I entirely agree that the mainstream view of wood burning won't disappear overnight.

But at least you can eliminate it in your own homes and perhaps can reduce the occasions when you have to breathe these toxins. I wasn't allowed to include the WHO link, but it states that one particle is equivalent to being surrounded by thousands of cigarette smokers in a closed room.

Too bad, as fireplaces are wonderful and this old method so practical. Initially I had thought the phenomenon to be new (pollution on trees) but apparently, historically we lacked the scientific evidence. Gas is an alternative, but I don't think Turkey has much.
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Old 19th March 2012, 21:09   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Wood-burning and Health

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiana View Post

But at least you can eliminate it in your own homes and perhaps can reduce the occasions when you have to breathe these toxins. I wasn't allowed to include the WHO link, but it states that one particle is equivalent to being surrounded by thousands of cigarette smokers in a closed room.

Ah so romantic to sit aside a wood burner, I'm glad I stick to my Low Tar ciggies, as least I know why I have a cough.
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