Physicians group targets fireplaces and fuel burning stoves

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  • Vic Steblin Prince Geoprge, BC, Canada, 00
    Jan. 1, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    The first Wood Stove Decathlon (WSD) took place November 16 – 19, 2013 on the National Mall in Washington DC. It was sponsored by the Alliance for Green Heat and the Popular Mechanics Magazine. The WSD challenged teams to design and build wood stoves that are low-emission, high efficiency, innovative and affordable.

    Congratulations to the organizing team for lining up 14 finalist stove teams, 10 qualified judges and about 75 speakers/panelists over 4 days of presentations. The 10 judges have outstanding qualifications in renewable technologies, environmental research, sustainability, air resources, clean energy, global environmental health, etc. Stoves are judged on the five categories of innovation, market appeal, affordability, emissions and efficiency. There is much care about promoting and improving wood stoves.

    It all seems so impressive. Wood burning has joined the modern world. There are Intelligent Heat Systems (IHS) that are computer controlled and have lambda oxygen sensors, thermocouples and remote monitors.

    Yet to me all this is like fine-tuning the stagecoach when we can drive modern cars. Why all this expertise? Why all this work to promote something that should be as long gone as the steam locomotive, icebox or outhouse? Makes little sense to me.

  • Self Sufficient N. Ogden Weber, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    I love the fact that there was no discussion about more efficient stoves or fireplaces. Just straight to the outright ban. I am sure there is no effort of energy companies or electric companies behind this.

  • athought Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    As a kid we had a wood stove in our house for cooking all our food. My grandparents, my aunts and uncles all had wood burning stoves. All of them lived to be old people, didn't seem to affect them too much. Of course, we were farmers, and we used whole milk straight from the cow, made our own butter (not margarine) you know -- all the things studies have shown to cause you to die young???? Didn't work for us -- my dad was 93, mom was 91 when they passed, and this was the same for their families. What gives??????

  • Grandma 20 Allen, TX
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    My question is: Where is the reference to the study that says a "lifetime exposure to wood smoke is 12 times greater than being exposed to the equivalent amount of secondhand smoke."? Is that just in Utah, the nation, the world, the universe? As Sgt. Friday of a long-ago tv show would say: "Just get the facts m'am, just get the facts."

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    So, wood smoke is bad. Wood smoke is the same as from cooking meat.

    How long before the Doctor whose name appears in the paper at least weekly demands we all become Vegans to avoid polluting by cooking meat?

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    wow so no understands that we should try and limit all pollution. heck in the way people voiced we should just all burn wood stoves and to heck with trying to clean up the air. heck whats going to happen record numbers of lung disorders and cancer? we no carbons good for lungs right? everything we burn puts out carbon. is that a cancer thing? yes it is.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    When I buy/build a new home in Northern Utah or Southern Salt Lake County I plan on having a fireplace w/ insert or free standing device. I agree that no burning on inversion days is appropriate and plan on using gas heating with code exceeding insulation.

    I agree that I'll reconsider this plan when the good doctor turned busy body sells his vehicle(s), rides a bike to work, sheds his current dwelling for a modest town-home close to his work and swears off airplane travel for Amtrak.

    We do have an air pollution situation that is somewhat unique. We could ban all new move-ins, require homes to air-dry laundry, require college students to live on campus and ban cars, raise the driving age from 16 to 18 or graduate from high school and require all new drivers to purchase electric cars. All would reduce emissions.

    I fear the good doctor's quest is more fueled by a desire to control the behavior of others.

    Oct. 2, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    "lifetime exposure to wood smoke is 12 times greater than being exposed to the equivalent amount of secondhand smoke."

    While I agree we need to limit wood burning, what does this phrase mean? It doesn't mean anything to me and I have a degree in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis on Environmental Engineering. You can't compare cigarette smoke with wood smoke, the types of pollution produced barely overlaps.

    Is this supposed to mean that the average person in America (World?) has 12 times as much exposure to wood smoke as secondhand smoke in their lifetime? But what about people who live with a smoker, what about the different effects from the different types of smoke? More exposure doesn't necessarily mean more health risk.

    Maybe it means you are 12 times as likely to have health problems or 12 times as likely to die or?

    More to the point - what percent of particulate pollution or carbon dioxide pollution in Utah is due to wood smoke, especially during the inversion situations in the winter?

  • Yeah but South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Ms. Kelly's study said that it was almost impossible to differentiate between organic carbon particles from burning wood and those from frying meat - but I didn't see that in this story. What her study shows, and what she expressed at the Air Quality Board meeting when she presented it is we need another study to know.

    Also, when the state says we can burn, it is getting to be only during active storms, and is shut off right after the storm. Is there an impact on neighbors' homes if I burn when the wind is howling through the neighborhood? What if I spent thousands of dollars to buy a very high-end stove that almost never has any visible emissions. Would Moench like to buy that stove back from me? Would the State. I believe such a law would result in a "takings" for which the state would have to compensate me appropriately - and everyone else with EPA certified stoves. Perhaps they should start by saying no new stoves can go in. That would be a baby step. What kind of support do you think the state would get from those companies that sell multiple thousand dollar stoves?

  • Topher Herriman, UT
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Seems to me like it wasn't too long ago that either KSL or Deseret News ran an article stating which sources were responsible for the poor air quality along the Wasatch Front. At no time in the article was wood stoves listed as a source of the bad air. Now we have an article about the poor quality of air attributing these conditions to wood stoves.

    It really appears that we have access to data but refuse to present the facts properly.

    As soon as these doctors ride bikes - not the bus - everywhere they go, I will be more likely to listen to what they have to say. But as long as they jump on airplanes for business or pleasure, drive to work and shopping, and etc., I can only see them as hypocrites.

  • Phred Ogden, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    I loved the irony of the company advertising some beautiful outdoor wood fireplaces right next to this article.

    It reminds me of the attempt by the EPA to identify the criminals responsible for the particulate pollution in eastern Tennessee and bring them to justice and eliminate the haze there.

    Their analysis identified a particular specie of pine tree that gave off the fragrance they found so visually repugnant. Hello? That is why they call them the Great Smoky Mountains!

    Personally I like the "teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves" approach, to the loss of freedom to choose being proposed here. Very few new homes come equipped with a wood fireplace anymore so the issue should be gradually resolving itself. The only mandate I am interested in is when my wife takes me to Cabelas for our Anniversary (and I take her to Thanksgiving Point).

    I do like it when my neighbor stinks up the neighborhood with a little cherry wood and pork shoulder. Yum!

    Viva la barbacoa!!