I am writing in response to the letter, “More pollution prevention is needed,” written by Brie Oishi from Port Coquitlam.
Ms. Oishi worries about the effects wood burning emissions, particularly from fireplaces, will have on the community’s health. Furthermore, she states that exposure to these emissions could lead to heart attacks, respiratory disease, and strokes.
Wood-burning fireplaces are much less common than they once were. The effects of such a small amount of these fireplaces will not have such a significant impact on the environment in the same way car emissions do, for example.
In addition, the effects of cigarette smoke are proven to cause many health issues with the substances they contain, such as arsenic, and tar. Clearly there are many other toxins in the air already which have similar and possibly more negative results on one’s health than a small amount of carbon dioxide from burning wood in a fireplace.
There are many factors which can lead to one developing cancer, and these are what should be focused on in future research. Furthermore, the combination of second-hand smoke and wood-burning emissions will not lead to cancer in every case. Almost every neighbourhood is already polluted with car emissions, which is a much greater issue.