The atmosphere is not a dump

1.5 million people die annually due to woodsmoke

It’s Mostly in the developing world, and mostly caused by cooking fires, and is a burden borne largely by women who do the cooking.The reality is that particulates from wood smoke are particularly deadly. It’s not something that you want to be chronically or acutely exposed to.






















What’s in woodsmoke?

One of the most frustrating things when trying to explain how bad wood smoke can be is when someone offers the common but worthless opinion that woodsmoke is “natural” and therefore somehow harmless. It is an argument from ignorance, and just because they fail to know or understand, it does not make the truth go away, and that truth is that woodsmoke is a dangerous combination of a great number of chemicals that have many complicated and not entirely understood effects on the human body. Later posts will show some of those effects, but for now here is a list of the chemicals in woodsmoke.

The list is from a peer reviewed paper called the Critical Review of the Health Effects of Woodsmoke:















A lot of the chemicals are carcinogenic, and where do those poisonous particulates get delivered?

Here’s what some of those words mean: Teratogenic, Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, Immunotoxic, Neurotoxicity

It takes a trained chemist to understand what all of those chemicals are, but I’ll take their word for it over some meaningless mantra of the word “natural“
















So straight from your neighbour’s woodburner’s firebox, up their flue, over the fence (against your wishes), into your house (against your wishes), into your body (against your wishes) through the nose and mouth, down the throat (causing throat cancers), down the windpipe, into the bronchial tubes, into the alveoli (causing lung cancers), and into your bloodstream (causing blood cancers and cancers throughout the body)

How is that even remotely fair? How is that not prohibited? How is that not a criminal offence?

Invercargill is polluted

From the Southland Times – Lack of wind fuels smog problem.

It’s an honest article, well apart from the fallacy in the item’s title – it ain’t wind that “fuels” the smog problem. It’s the coal, the wood, and whatever rubbish Southlanders are conveniently disposing of in their woodburners, that are the fuel.

From the article “In 2010, the limit was exceeded 35 times” and “12 of them since June 14 this year” (and I’m writing this on July 7th) so that is 50% of the days since June 14 Invercargill has been polluted in breach of the already lax particulate pollution standards, and not by a little, but a lot.

“The highest was 143 micrograms per cubic metre of air on July 4 – almost three times the limit”

No wonder Invercargill is an economic backwater. Who’d want to live in a town with those -2 winter evenings with thick smoke where you can barely make out a street light 20 metres away through the thick smog?

In summer, in the City of Love, as I like to think of Invercargill, hanging around the gardens before hopping over to Stewart Island to go tramping and kiwi spotting, it’s a lovely place. It’s just a real pity that it is dependent on a form of domestic heating that stuffs it up for everybody.