Stop all types of smoke and chemical scented products in residential areas they are health hazards
City of Vancouver is considering the possibility of a ban for all new residential construction. This idea is considered in the draft Greenest City Action Plan. Chemical products of concern to possibly be addressed through a VoC strategy under consideration.
To Janine Brossard.
Unfortunately, even on festive occasions wood smoke is toxic. Fireplaces are a, very, uncontrolled source of pollution says UBC Professor Michael Brauer.
Other Doctors, including Dr. Sverre Vedal, who was UBC Associate professor of Medicine and B.C. Lung Association researcher, made a Video on health dangers in wood smoke.
In this Video they mostly mention respiratory effects but there is information available from Lung Associations that Wood Smoke is linked to Cancer.
I understand your point of view but the amount toxic emissions that would be released into the air if that were to happen would cause severe health
effects for many people, especially children, seniors, anyone with a compromised immune system and healthy people. All wood smoke is toxic and doesn't belong in urban areas in any dose. Second hand wood smoke is just as bad or worse than second hand cigarette smoke.
Janine Brossard commented
Maybe for all the Vancouverites that love to have a fire on festive occasions we could allow them on certains days e.g. Christmas, Thanksgiving. However, not to exceed 5 days a year per household.
Janine Brossard commented
I totally agree about the nasty toxins in cleaners, cosmetics, dryer sheets and the ever popular febreeze type sprays. If a neighbour chooses to use these products then others have no choice but to breathe them in. Dryer sheets especially spew their toxins into the outside environment and into neighbours windows. Not to mention their effect on wildlife and water.
On scented cleaners!
To be “GREEN” would entail the removal of all chemical scented household cleaners, laundry detergents and dryer sheets… Please read this informative article compiled by: Val and Paul Bjarnason. This is listed as a “Talk Green Suggestion” under the heading ‘Non-toxic laundry’ in Improve air… I am going to borrow this, hoping that they do not mind.
Please read: http://www.lplpublishers.ca/toxiclaundry.html
Also the following are worthwhile reading: http://www.ourlittleplace.com/fabric.html
These articles are filled with good information. Although, many Homemakers have already switched to healthier cleaning products and probably have saved their own life and that of their family’s, this still needs much more stringent regulations! Perhaps it would be easier to switch remembering that fragrance does not clean.
Vancouver’s greener alternative also needs to include a ban of the much advertised room freshener plug-in gadgets and deodorizing germ killing sprays. The ingredients in these germ killing sprays kill much more than germs…and if they don’t kill you then they can kill your Life. Anyone can become allergic and hypersensitive to those and then life becomes a living nightmare.
Thanks for reinforcing the importance about wood smoke and the fact that all wood smoke and ordour whether it is from a forest fire, fire pit or wood burning appliance all produce noxious compounds and poisons that pollute our neighbourhoods. We only have one source of air to breathe, please make it smoke free.
On Wood Smoke!
Wood burning fireplaces rate among the worst air polluting devices in residential areas. Science proved that wood-smoke is dangerous… Lung Associations say it is linked to numerous serious health conditions including Cancer; also Lung and Heart problems!
The following Video is worthwhile watching:
It features warnings by Doctors, including Dr. Sverre Vedal who was UBC Associate Professor of Medicine and B.C. Lung Association researcher.
Here in the Lower Mainland houses build during the last two decades have been equipped with gas burning fireplaces; before that period, many, large, two story housing developments sprang up and each home has (2) wood-burning fireplaces… Many of these homes have been converted into, multi, family dwellings; which means that two fireplaces would be operated simultaneously.
These neighbourhoods are very unsafe; because there is twice the amount of airborne poisons expelled. People are, also, operating fireplaces while atmospheric conditions are poor. When the air is thick and gloomy clouds are hanging low and the wood smoke will be pressed down and remain at ground level for quite some time and will be drawn into dwellings by forced-air furnaces. Causing havoc in people’s life’s including the burning individual’s.
Wood smoke is becoming more and more un-acceptable sociably; citizens are becoming aware that there is not such a thing as ‘Burn Safe’; all wood burning has been linked to many health impairments and it would be wise to ban it.
The federal and provincial government has been contacted about this, and their answer was that a ban on burning falls under the jurisdictions of municipalities. Reading the Community Charter, Vancouver city hall and all other Metro Vancouver communities have the power to Ban Wood Burning.
This could be done very soon; it would provide cleaner air for all citizens and put Vancouver on the map as 'Greenest City' way before 2020.
John McCrossan commented
There are two kinds of residents in urban areas, those who have asthma/sensitivities and those who have still to get it. This has nothing to do with allergies and everything to do with the amount of air borne poisons that each of us can handle. Right now (see vanc sun sep 23) 10% of adults in Canada have asthma, that is a staggering 350,000 people. Not only do we need to stop adding more pollutants, we need to roll back what we have.
Mayors & Councillors, you have By-Law powers to eliminate wood-burning and other air-borne poisons, use them please. Merritt and GF have taken this step and so can you.
If you are waiting for WorksafeBC or Metro-Vancouver or Superman to do this for you, you too will have asthma by the time that day comes. Regards John
Wood smoke in residential areas needs to be addressed. The sooner the better. It can lead to chemical sensitivity among other things. It is not necessary to burn... but it is necessary to breathe!
As I read through some of the documentation on the federal government website on the hazards of woodsmoke, I read that valley communities are particularly susceptable to pollutants. Because they are situated in a topographic depression, pollutants that enter, linger and those that are created within the community don't easily escape.
I had a sense of this years ago, when as I visited relatives in Revelstoke B.C. I noticed that wood burning (combination of lumber mills burning refuse and residential wood burning) would linger in the air 24/7. I remember that I had a very difficult time breathing during these visits, particularly in the winter months when the dense cold air formed a barrier that seemed trap the smoke in the valley. That was probably twenty years ago, and eventually these activities subsided as wood burning appliances were replaced through a rebate program, which encouraged people to switch to natural gas. Community protest and outcries eventually stopped that burn off of refuse at the lumber mill.
One thing I remember very well was how thankful I was to return to Calgary for relief from the smoke. Now the opposite situation exists here, with many residents turning to burning wood both indoors and out. It makes you wonder how, when other communities have been enlightened by the hazards of wood smoke, some would choose to adopt it.
As we learn more and more about things that can, and have effected our lives and our health, we need to embrace this knowledge and take back control of our environment and our health. There are many people who have been negatively impacted by pollutants throughout Canada. It makes me sad to see how long in some cases, their struggle has endured...something most may feel hopeless about...and yet they struggle on. People need to be informed, companies need to be made accountable, and the government needs to be a leader in this progression. We need to go forward not backward.
Air Is Precious commented
Air Is Precious
All smoke should be banned in residential and urban areas in Canada.
The many cancer causing chemicals found in Woodsmoke increase our risks of premature death.
We are bombarded daily with multiple chemical scented products that are making us very ill and harming our health. Exposure to the chemcials found in scented products can vary from person to person. Many have life threatening reactions that can be devestating.
A walk outside to enjoy fresh clean air is almost impossilbe. We have scented dryer sheets, fabrics softners, and perfumes that overwhelme many. Woodsmoke permeates our air, making breathing a struggle for many.
What should be our beautiful pristine air to breathe has become a toxic soup of chemicals that are destroying our health. There are many adverse reactions from the chemicals found in scented products. Those that state they are unscented, have a masking agent to hide the scent. We still are made very ill from the multitude of chemicals we are breathing.
Wisely we adopted laws to Ban all tobacco smoking, that saved millions of lives. Laws must be adopted to protect the health and well being of everyone from Woodsmoke!
By raising awareness to this issue of all types of smoke and chemical scented products, we can protect and enjoy our health and the very fresh, beautiful air we all deserve to breathe.
Chemical sensitivities can be debilitating and destroy the quailty of ones life, just as exposure to Woodsmoke Pollution does.
They both are health hazards!
They both destroy our quality of life!
They both do grave harm to our fragile environment!
They both take away your breath!
Especially wood smoke!
To go Green does require a bit of a clean up which starts at ones own premises. Our own dwellings have become, unknowingly, dangerous to our health. Recently, a study found a potential link between the use of household cleaners and air fresheners and breast cancer.
The molecules of lab produced fragrances are designed to cling, so my Health-care-practitioner informed me. And I do not think that those molecules are too fuzzy on what they cling to; whether it is a towel or the core of the human anatomy.
It would be a good idea to start, immediately, to eliminate as many “un-green” things out of our life, as possible. The sooner we start, the sooner we will enjoy cleaner air. The moment Vancouver stops pushing polluted air towards the Fraser Valley, the happier farmers will be! Because a lot of that toxin laden air (created in Vancouver) has been pushed by ocean air toward the Fraser Valley; gathering more fouled air from other communities along the way and then all this falls onto farmer’s crops, is absorbed and ends up on our dinner plates. Not an appetizing prospect.