Thursday 25 February 2021

Wood burning stoves much greater source of air pollution


Log fires and wood burning stoves are much more polluting than thought, the Volkskrant reported on Tuesday.

In fact, burning wood in home fires is responsible for 23% of fine particulate emissions in the Netherlands, instead of an earlier estimate of 10%, public health institute RIVM told the paper.

The recalculation has been prompted by European guidelines which say particulates produced as condensation just outside the chimney should be included in the figures, as well as those in the air.

This means log fires and wood burning stoves are important contributors to fine particulate pollution, along with traffic, industry and agriculture. The RIVM estimates that in 2018 around a billion kilos of wood were burned in one million wood burning installations in private homes.

According to a report by the environmental planning bureau PBL, the cheapest way of dealing with particulate pollution would be to ban diesel cars without a particulate filter and older generation wood burning stoves which do not comply with tougher emission standards which were introduced in 2020.

Fine particulates are particularly dangerous to health and effects may include cardiovascular problems and asthma attacks.

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