Lung cancer, diabetes and dementia an unexpected list

Many people do not realize that the way homes are heated can pose health risks.

For example, the use of wood-burning stoves can be associated with indoor pollution. Currently, various forms of heating can be used, bringing benefits not only to health but also to the planet.


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Changing the way we heat our homes can benefit health and the climate

The warm glow and crack of a wood stove create an atmosphere that is hard to resist. But many American research has proven that the magic of wood-burning stoves will have a very high price on human health.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says wood smoke is the most responsible for poor air quality in many American homes. Wood burning may produce toxic gases (nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide) and small solid particles called particulate matter (PM). The most harmful particles contain those with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (one thousandth of a millimeter) and are called PM2.5.

If inhaled, they are very small, and can travel inside the lungs causing irritation and inflammation. Immediate symptoms can be: wheezing, lack of air, cough, asthma attacks, tightness in the chest. This leads to chronic bronchitis.

Moreover, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, particles can cause strokes, arrhythmias and thus heart failure and heart attacks especially if people already have these diseases.

Also, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, smoke from a wood-burning stove can cause a lung infection that would make a person more susceptible to Covid-19.

Effects on health

According to scientists, these particles are deposited in the lungs, heart and brain. The repercussions for the health of the person concerned would be very serious. In particular, for children, the elderly or people with pre-existing diseases.

According to a study by the British Lung Foundation, particles can cause COPD, i.e. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or Lung Cancer. It appears that there may be links between PM2.5 and diabetes or degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Some research by the Environmental Protection Agency has demonstrated that the level of particulate matter indoors may be higher than those outside. These include: cigarette smoke, cooking, candles, stoves, wood stoves, gas or unventilated kerosene.

Wood stoves have become very popular in recent years. Among other things, it is considered cheap because the cost of wood is lower than the cost of gas or oil. In this way they became an alternative to heating the house. However, recent research has shown that wood-burning stoves generate more particulate matter than multi-fuel stoves or pellet stoves.

This is because every time the door is opened to introduce wood, the particle peaks inside the homes increase.

How to fight indoor pollution

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one way to control indoor, or home, pollution is to:

  • limit the use of stoves, stoves or stoves with unventilated combustion;
  • Choose a wood stove that is certified and compliant with EPA standards;
  • Use the most appropriate fuel for each stove, such as dry or well-seasoned wood.

Whatever the case, as Kevin M. Stewart, director of environmental health advocacy and public policy at the American Lung Association, said: Even a better designed and used wood stove (or composite wood pellet) still produces some pollution Atmosphere “.

(The information in this article is for informational purposes only and relates to scientific studies published in medical journals, so it does not replace the advice of a physician or specialist, and should not be taken into account when formulating treatments or a diagnosis)

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