Letters to the Editor

Wood smoke is just toxic

The article “Wood smoke is new burning issue in Metro’s crosshairs” by Jeff Nagel sparked my interest.

Metro Vancouver’s yielding toward a wood smoke emission-free neighbourhood environment needs to be strongly supported.

The harmful side of wood smoke needs to be better understood by some officials as well as by the general public.

Metro wants to control these toxic emissions in residential areas, even ban wood smoke, in order to provide cleaner and healthier air in neighbourhoods where burning takes place.

The approximately 90 wood smoke complaints Metro gets per year would be in tenfold-plus if the general public knew that wood smoke contains numerous health-hazardous chemicals in addition to the fine particulate matter Metro is talking about.

Some of these chemicals are labelled carcinogenic and mutagenic and through the process of breathing can get into the human body system and start doing what they are meant to do.

Carcinogens will poison, and mutagens will mutate.

This can result in cancer, as most forms of cancers are mutated cells.

Wood smoke can harm the developing lungs of young children and exposure to wood smoke is linked to some stroke and heart problems.

For the sake of humanity, Metro needs to go ahead and take these toxic wood smoke emissions out of neighbourhoods where cleaner fuel is available and do this even without further costly studies.

At the same time, residents who rely on wood burning to heat their homes because they have no access to cleaner fuel need to be exempted.

Wood smoke is a complex mixture of chemical substances that has no intrinsic value for the human body or for the environment.

All it has are toxins to poison people and pollute the very air we need to breathe.

 

Brie Oishi, Port Coquitlam

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