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Are wood burners safe?

The following article has been submitted by a group of Baslow residents concerned that wood-burning stoves may be harmful and that this harm may not always be appreciated by users. The Parish Council neither supports or opposes the views expressed but is facilitating its distribution to allow further and open debate.

Wood burners produce a lot of the most dangerous type of air pollution, which is invisible but fills the room and puts your neighbours at risk too.

It is absorbed into the lungs and blood stream and other organs and its effects can damage brain cells.

There is a definite link to many health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease and dementia.

Baslow has high levels of this pollution (PM2.5), nearly twice the safe level defined by World Health Organisation (e.g. 8 instead of 5 mcg/m3) at Baslow Health Centre.

Wood burners produce more than 450 times the toxic air pollution of a gas boiler.

The government says: ‚ÄúThink about why you are lighting your fire as well as how much fuel you use. Is it necessary? If your appliance is secondary heating consider burning less. If your house is already warm enough and you don‚Äôt need to burn, not burning is the simplest way of reducing your costs and minimising your impact.‚ÄĚ (DEFRA).

Wood burners are more expensive to install, run and maintain than gas fires, for most people. An electric flame effect fire is an emission-free alternative.

Only two-year-old seasoned wood (with a moisture content < 20%) can be burnt, all other wood is illegal to be used.

So please think again if you are planning to install a wood burning stove.


Help to make Baslow a low pollution village and improve all our health. 

Prepared by Baslow Clean Air Group (Professor M. Holcombe (rtd. research scientist); Dr. D. Dawson (rtd. hospital consultant); Dr. I. Johnston (rtd. research scientist); Mr. P. Selencky (Architect), and after discussion within Baslow Environment Group)) for presentation to the Baslow & Bubnell Parish Council meeting to be held on 19th March 2024. There is convincing scientific evidence for every fact included in this statement. Anyone wishing to see the details should contact one of the authors

Categorized: Health, Parish Council

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