In the wintertime, Pierce County residents may be breathing unhealthy levels of fine particle pollution. Fine particles are made up of soot, dust, and smoke and come from a variety of sources but smoke from wood burning devices is the major wintertime source. Fine particle pollution is a serious health problem for everyone. Fine particles negatively affect both our respiratory and circulatory systems and have been linked to respiratory disease, decreased heart and lung function, and asthma.
Since it is a significant health and economic issue – it is in the best interest of our community to reduce the amount of wood smoke in our air. Simple steps can improve air quality. If you have a wood burning device at home:
Check Before You Burn – Check to see if there is a burn ban. Call toll-free at (800)595-4341 or visit www.cleanairpiercecounty.org. Burn bans often occur on our clearest wintertime days when there is an air inversion resulting in stagnant or little movement of the air.
Check Your Chimney for Smoke – Generating excess chimney smoke is not only un-neighborly – it’s illegal and can result in hefty fines.
Burn Cleaner – Use only dry wood that has been seasoned for one year. Seasoned wood burns cleaner and produces less smoke.
Consider Cleaner Ways To Heat – Such as switching out your wood stove for a non-wood heating device or pellet stove. To sign up for future wood stove change-out programs please visit: www.pscleanair.org – [Click Agency Programs, then Community Initiatives, and on the Wood Stove Replacement Program page select New Applications].
Learn More, Stay Informed – Tell your family and friends! To learn more and sign up for updates please visit: www.cleanairpiercecounty.org/ or contact Kathy Ross at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at 798-7369.
Let’s get the word out to our communities so we can clear our air.