Agency Recommends 'Best Burn' Practices To Reduce Pollution

AP
December 21, 2019 - 9:16 pm

DEEP

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Homeowners who burn wood for heat are being urged to limit their exposure to pollution.

Officials from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are encouraging residents to use “best burn” practices to protect themselves and their neighbors. This includes burning the right type of wood.

DEEP advises people only burn dry, seasoned wood to reduce particle pollution. Softwoods such as Douglas fir need at least 6 months to dry and hardwoods such as oak need at least 12 months. According to the agency, people should never burn garbage, plastic, tires, or treated lumber because they emit other toxic pollutants in additional to particle pollution.

People are advised not to burn wet wood. Inexpensive moisture meters can be purchased at a hardware store. DEEP also advises people use newer, EPA-certified stoves and fireplace inserts. Besides being more energy efficient, they reduce air pollutants by 70% compared to older models.

Wood smoke is comprised of a complex mixture of gasses and particles and can have severe health impacts. It's also a main contributor to fine particle pollution, contributing to the state's poor air quality days.