‘Doing it since caveman times!’ Fury as Britons told to DITCH log burners after new study


A community-led study in Bristol found that log burners continually exceeded the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) daily guidelines for air pollution over a six-month period. Following the findings, Britons “who can afford it” were urged to stop using wood burners to prevent the harmful effects. However, many were frustrated at being told to do so during a cost of living crisis when thousands have been forced to choose between heating their home and eating.

Express.co.uk user Trucker 1977 said of the dangers of wood burners: “Not as dangerous as freezing to death because you can’t afford your gas bill!”

Derek_S added: “People have been keeping their homes warm by burning wood for thousands of years.

“I don’t think I’m about to start worrying now just because some whingeing greenies want me to.”

Another pointed out: “Humans have been burning logs and wood since caveman times.”

The study was carried out by placing sensors in houses around Ashley Ward, Bristol, where fuel-burning appliances were installed.

Burning wood or coal pollutes the air inside and outside homes, creating tiny particulates called PM2.5 and PM10 – which can also cause heart and lung problems.

The 10 sensors in the study found that the average log burner emitted 10 PM10 and 12 PM2.5.

According to the Clean Air Act 1993, which covers Bristol, it is illegal to release smoke from chimneys unless burning an authorised fuel or using an exempt appliance.

Other recent research has shown that wood-burning stoves in urban areas are responsible for almost half of people’s exposure to the cancer-causing chemicals found in air pollution particles, with even wood-burning stoves meeting the new ‘ecodesign’ standard still emitting 750 times more tiny particles than a modern HGV truck.

Steve Crawshaw, who managed the project, said: “The evidence is that virtually any level of PM 2.5 is harmful – there is no threshold below which you don’t see health effects.”

300 people die a year in Bristol alone as a result of poor air quality.

Tim Wye, a local green councillor, said: “Ashley is a split ward with a lot of people living on incredibly low incomes.

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“For some, especially now, burning solid fuels is sometimes the only option to stay warm – but what I hope the study shows is that those who can afford it should really think twice about using solid fuels in an urban environment.

“Current research suggests the air pollution impact of wood-burning is really significant, and as with the air pollution emitted by vehicles, there is no ‘safe level’ for humans.”

Some Express.co.uk users were also infuriated at being told what they could and couldn’t do.

John Longstridesaid : “Ban this, Ban that, whatever next?

“I am sick of reading more attempts to ban things every day. Life is about choices and people must make their own decisions and their own choices.

“We are ALL going to die – there is no escaping that – and the way things are going you are more likely to die from an entirely curable condition simply because you are on a long waiting list for treatment than from air pollution.”

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Mikehinford repsonded: “But you can’t choose what your neighbours do. If you burn wood you are making a choice for your neighbours that they will be more likely to die from cancer. Is that their choice cos they live near you?

Yeah we are all going to die. And it seems the wood burners would prefer we suffer while we are alive before we die.

Those curable conditions you talk about are going to be made worse if you live near a wood burner. The same reason for why people aren’t allowed to smoke after heart operations.”

User Hardcore Brexiteer summed up the discussion by saying: “Take your pick, freeze to death or inhale toxic fumes; once decided you can then decide whether to pay your mortgage or eat.”





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