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Movement To Ban Fireplaces Sweeping Across America

fireplaceA roaring wood fire in your living room could soon be a thing of the past if a growing movement is successful.

More and more communities across North America are moving to ban wood and coal-burning fireplaces in an effort to control air pollution – and in some locations it already is prohibited. Both activists and local governments are targeting fireplaces as threat to public health.

“Wood smoke is an extremely toxic, public health hazard,” Brian Moench, the president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment; told The Deseret News. Moench’s group has petitioned Utah’s Air Quality Board to ban wood burning in Salt Lake City and other urban areas of Utah [1].

“Routine wood burning should not be allowed for the same philosophical, aesthetic and public health reasons as the prohibition of cigarette smoking in public venues,” Moench said. Moench based his claims on an Environmental Protection Agency study that showed wood smoke is 12 times as toxic as second-hand cigarette smoke.

It should be noted that Utah’s state government has not gone along with Moench’s demands yet. His proposal seems to have the support of Kerry Kelly, the vice president of the Utah Air Quality Control Board. Kelly, a chemical engineer, wrote a report condemning wood burning as a menace to public health.

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Those who rely on wood or coal for heat should be worried about Moench’s sentiments because they seem to be spreading fast. There are several fireplace bans in place in North America and a concerted effort to create more.

Supporters of burning wood, though, note that it is all-natural, allows for self-sufficiency, and has been used for millennia by humans to stay warm.

Where Fireplaces are Already Illegal

Fireplaces and wood stoves are already illegal in several cities and regions. The most prominent fireplace bans include:

Wood Burning Bans and Off-the-Grid Living

If you rely on wood or coal for heat you should beware. Local governments could soon prohibit usage of your fireplace or wood stove down in the name of public health.