Home Links Photos
|Take Back the Air
From Wood Smoke
Please don't burn wood
This website is designed to provide
basic information on how to press for wood smoke reduction with public
officials and others who need to better understand the hazards of wood
Minneapolis initiative: Take Back the Air is Minneapolis-based, though we are connected with many people concerned with wood smoke reduction efforts across the country and in Canada. If you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will try and connect you with others in your area “for a larger voice”. We will support your efforts and you can consider us a resource for the latest wood smoke information.
Since 2001 we have tried to convince Minneapolis elected officials that wood smoke is the second tobacco smoke and that citizens deserve relief from its caustic fumes on our own properties and in public spaces. We need larger numbers of people to come forward and strengthen our pleas for cleaner air through wood smoke reduction.
We would love to hear from people in Minnesota and other states, and work together towards clearing the air for the sake of public health. We believe it is as important to free public spaces of wood smoke as it was to establish smoking bans in indoor establishments and in some parks.
. It is a major source of black carbon soot fine particulates that are
so miniscule that they cannot be adequately
filtered or contained.
The science on wood smoke is clear: There is no
safe level of it, according to the American Lung Association, the US
Surgeon General, the US Centers for Disease Control and most state
The Harvard School of Public Health also studied 5
major American cities during a 3-month experimental ban on wood burning.
During that period they found that hospital death rate from respiratory
increase in heart attacks went down dramatically. The Minneapolis metro
area was found to be the number one city most at risk for premature
deaths compared to the other 4 in the study.
Residential recreational wood burning and restaurant wood burning are
major sources of toxic black carbon soot in neighborhoods where
high concentrations of people live in close proximity.
. The science on wood smoke is clear. There is no safe level of wood smoke. It is a well-documented public health hazard, according to the MN Department of Health, US Centers of Disease Control, the EPA, the American Lung Association and many others.
. Residential recreational wood burning and restaurant wood burning are major sources of toxic black carbon soot in neighborhoods where high concentrations of people live.
. Wood smoke can trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death in people of all ages. Children and unborn children are among the most vulnerable along with the elderly or anyone with asthma, cardiac conditions or other lung or breathing problems. These groups comprise a significant portion of our population.
. London has banned wood, solid fuel and coal burning since 1957 when about 4,500 people died in a high-particulate smog event, called the 'London Smog Incident'.
Here is a flyer you can edit and distribute:
Wood smoke: A severe public health hazard
Know the facts: Wood smoke…
For more information, email@example.com
This flyer can be edited to use for parks anywhere.
Health effects from wood smoke exposure:
Accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Global warming; Climate change
Wood smoke's black carbon soot is increasingly implicated in climate change/global warming:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120112142232.htm
Wood smoke is a major source of fine particulate carbon soot emissions which pollute clouds and interferes with the seeding of rain.www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/12/soot-methane-reduction-global-warming_n_1202440.html www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/28/black-carbon-emissions
The United Nations (UN) urges wood smoke reduction.www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsid=31952&cr=unep@crl
Links to wood smoke articles
Links to wood smoke videos
The EPA continues to encourage state, local, tribal, and consumer efforts to change out (replace) older heaters with newer, cleaner, more efficient wood heaters and wood stoves. But they do not suggest change-outs to natural gas, the cleanest, most energy efficient alternative. Here is a good video of the damage to the air from outdoor wood boilers (OWBs). This should help convince authorities of the realities of wood smoke. https://www.youtube.com/user/GoReps
Local action needed
· Visit Edina, Minnesota’s Wood Smoke Blog City of Edina
to make complaints about wood smoke. While this blog was initiated in 2011, it is time to revive the issue in this pro-burning community. Edina did convert 2 of 3 wood burning fireplaces in the city-owned Centrum building at Centennial Lakes Park to gas. But Edina City Council members voted to not convert the outdoor wood burning fireplace. This is inconsistent with the smoking ban in the park. And wood smoke there presents a physical barrier to people with breathing disabilities and to those who prefer true clean air.
· Request that the Edina City Council either limit outdoor wood burning hours considerably or ban wood burning altogether, since cleaner alternative such as natural gas are more sustainable and readily available. One email can be sent, with a request to forward to all Council Members to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 952-826-1600 and voice suggestions or complaints.
· Request that the outdoor fireplace at the Centrum Building be converted to gas
· Request that Edina stop giving out wood burning permits to restaurants—for new restaurants or conversions. (The 50th and France area is very smoky, as is the Galleria, because of many wood burning restaurants)
· The good news is that Tavern on France converted their wood burning outdoor fireplace to gas.
· Contact email@example.com to connect with others wanting wood smoke reduction in Edina.