December’s Breathe Healthy Initiative Topic: Our Indoor Generation

Wood Smoke and Our Indoor Generation

Does burning wood in a fireplace or stove impact our indoor air quality?  Simple answer, YES.  However, like many contaminants, it does not need feared, it needs respected.

Smoke from wood-burning consists of tiny particles that can get into our lungs and eyes.  These particles can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, and impact our immune system.  For those with asthma, it could make symptoms worse or trigger an asthma attack. Fine particulates can also aggravate the heart and lung for those having diseases of the heart and lungs.

Basic wood-burning practices, we can use to protect our Indoor Generation would be:

  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood. Never burn green or wet wood.
  • Maintain a hot fire.
  • Have our wood-burning fireplaces or appliances inspected regularly.
  • Old technologically outdated stoves should be replaced with cleaner burning technology wood stoves.
  • Use a portable air cleaner in the room or rooms where we spend the most time.
  • Never start a fire with gasoline, kerosene, or charcoal starter. Use newspaper, dry kindling and all-natural or organic fire starters.
  • Check your wood stove or fireplace insert operating instructions before using artificial logs. Improper use can lead to more harmful contaminants being released in the air.
  • If using manufactured logs, choose those made from 100% compressed sawdust.
  • Keep the doors of wood-burning appliances closed except when loading or stoking the fire. Harmful chemicals, like carbon monoxide, can be released.
  • Check our carbon monoxide monitors to confirm they are properly working.

To learn more, to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, or to request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book, visit



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