Wood smoke dangers are largely ignored

Wood smoke has become our new "second hand smoke." Wood smoke has many of the same components as cigarette smoke, yet is largely unregulated.

It took years to understand the dangers of cigarette smoke, longer to understand the dangers of "second hand" cigarette smoke. It is now taking all too long to understand and regulate the dangers of wood smoke.

In summer months people burn open fire pits, chimineas and other wood burning equipment - many of which cause neighbors to breathe in wood smoke. Some affected call Environment and Human Health, Inc. looking for ways to stop the wood smoke from coming into their homes and asking why town, state and federal agencies do not protect them.

The situation explodes in the colder months when outdoor wood furnaces pollute the air, with government agencies unwilling to remediate this problem. An outdoor wood furnace bill died once again in the state legislature this year and other states that are badly affected by wood smoke are not doing much better.

Wood smoke is dangerous when breathed in on a continual basis, just as cigarette smoke is. It is taking all too long for states, towns and health departments to deal with this serious health issue.

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