January 11, 2022
  • January 11, 2022

Impact of the burner on the environment – fears

By on October 15, 2021 0

Concerns have been raised about the health hazards of soot particles from an expected increase in the use of wood stoves this winter.

With the rise in gas prices, people using wood stoves should throw another log on the fire rather than turning on their heat to heat their homes.

Wood stoves produce very fine soot particles called PM2.5, which have been identified by the World Health Organization as the most serious air pollutant to human health.

The particles can enter the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs and other organs, and are particularly dangerous for people with asthma and people with lung disease, exposing them to asthma attacks or life-threatening flare-ups.

A worried Bristol resident asked the city’s mayor, Marvin Rees, about the matter during broadcaster John Darvall’s show on BBC Radio Bristol on Thursday (October 14th).

“Stuart” from Easton noted that Bristol City Council had received funding from Defra (the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to tackle the “really fine soot” from wood stoves .

He said: “We know that this fine soot causes half of the premature deaths in Bristol each year, which are estimated at 300 people.

“What is Bristol doing about funding, given that the amount of wood burned is expected to increase rapidly this winter as gas heating costs rise? “

Mr Rees did not answer the question directly, but said local authorities had “limited” powers to deal with the problem.

He said council and Labor MPs Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) and Darren Jones (Bristol North West) had pressed the government for greater powers.

“We just need to take action in the areas over which we have powers until the necessary ones arise,” Rees said.

“[Existing clean air legislation] won’t extend to that just yet, but wherever we can act, especially if things are antisocial, for example, it gives us a window to intervene but we are very limited.

The law allows the use of wood stoves, open fires and wood stoves, but there are restrictions on the types of fuels and appliances that can be used.

Under the Clean Air Act 1993, Bristol is covered by a smoke control ordinance.

This means residents face fines of up to £ 1,000 if the smoke coming out of their chimneys is produced by burning unauthorized fuel or using a device that is not exempt. More details on the rules appear on the council’s website.

And, in May this year, new legislation came into force in England, placing restrictions on the sale of charcoal, “wet wood” and manufactured solid fuels that can be burned at home.

Damp wood, the inexpensive cut wood sold in mesh bags, produces more smoke and therefore more harmful PM2.5 particles because it contains more moisture than seasoned or treated wood.

Bagged charcoal and wet wood less than two cubic meters can no longer be sold, and wet wood in larger volumes must be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning.

The new rules also mean that manufactured solid fuels must be cleaner, with lower sulfur content and a limit on the amount of smoke they emit.

The Local Democracy Information Service contacted the council for more information on Defra funding and how it is spent.

Our picture shows Marvin Rees

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