Call for health warning on wood burning stoves

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  • WizzyWigg's Avatar
    Level 81
    This has been around and about for a while but this was in The Times and Telegraph this morning.

    Calls for wood-burning stoves to come with health warnings

    New stoves should highlight the 'negative medical consequences of the outdoor air pollution' they produce, says report

    Telegraph Reporters
    22 December 2023 • 6:00am
    Around 1.7 million households in the UK have wood-burning stoves
    Wood-burning stoves should be given health warnings, a report backed by 100 Conservative MPs has said.
    New stoves should carry labels highlighting the “negative medical consequences of the outdoor air pollution” they produce, according to the report by Bright Blue, a centre-right think tank.
    The think tank also argued that councils should be able to ban the use of the stoves on days where air pollution is particularly high through an amendment to the Clean Air Act, according to The Times.
    It comes after ministers asked councils to issue £300 fines for people breaking rules on the devices earlier this year.
    Around 1.7 million households in the UK have wood-burning stoves, an increase from 500,000 in 2013.
    Owners are more likely to be well-off, the authors of Delivering Cleaner Air in a Socially Just Way said, adding that 42 per cent owned their own home.
    “Because many of those who burn at home tend to be better off, it should be possible to reduce this source of pollution without harming those in a more precarious financial situation,” they wrote.
    The report was supported by the Conservative Environment Network, a group of more than 100 Tory MPs.
    Alexander Stafford, the Conservative MP for Rother Valley in South Yorkshire, told The Times: “We must ensure that our transition towards cleaner air is a just transition ... policies which ignore the needs of the least well-off are as useless as policies which will not provide adequate air pollution reduction.”
    A Defra spokesman said: “There have been significant improvements in air quality at a national level since 2010 ... our Environment Act made it easier for local authorities to act on pollution from domestic burning in smoke control areas and it is their legal duty to do that by issuing fines as they deem necessary.”

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    Last edited by WizzyWigg; 22-12-23 at 09:31. Reason: Extra information
  • 4 Replies

  • geoffers's Avatar
    Level 29
    Afraid it tends to be Guardian (+Times & Telegraph) class warriors with a (wood) chip on their shoulders and an axe to grind who keep pushing this agenda.

    Need to get rid of old, oil-buring diesels first, who are the worst polluters for all 12 months of the year.

    Plenty of evidence from ULEZ zones how air quality is vastly improved by removing old diesels from the equation

    It's not the oily black grime from wood burning stove that I continually have to clean from my window frames etc
    Last edited by geoffers; 22-12-23 at 09:49.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92

    Just looking at the figures quoted, I can see straight away that the figures are utterly wrong and extremely biassed towards the agenda that certain groups are trying to push. You can 'prove' anything you like if you choose the right statistics.

    1.7 million stoves in use. How many fossil fueled cars? And how many g/MWh is produced in the generation of that electricity...they skipped over that statistic.

    Me.....I'll just chuckle quietly to myself and appreciate the work that I and a couple of builder friends have been putting in here at the Manor over the last week.

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    It's saving me around 70% of my heating oil usage, and using firewood sourced from my own land which has not only been seasoned properly, but has already sucked rather a lot of CO2 out of the atmosphere and is thus net carbon neutral. And I have planted new trees to replace the felled ones, so they in turn will be doing their bit. The stove is a new Ecoburn standard which has a fifth of the measured particulate pollution of the pre-2018 DEFRA standard which used to be the limits to which stove manufacturers worked to.

    I agree that for urban or suburban areas, they are not the best option, but for us folks off grid and in the boonies on an Atlantic coast in a sparsely populated area, they are a sensible source of low carbon heating if used properly and with the appropriate fuel.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    Its about particulate matter not carbon dioxide emissions, because as @retrotecchie points out the wood has previously sucked the gas from the air, so in the long term its carbon neutral.

    Wherever its emitted it adds to the levels in the atmosphere. And with even modern stoves emitting 400+ times the particulate matter than a gas boiler there has to be a case for banning them completely. Gas boilers have their own issues of course with net zero targets.

    Need for some joined up thinking in government on all these issues. You have to wonder why if ordinary people on this forum can see the issues, why can't our political representatives?
    Current Eon Next customer, ex EDF, Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.