Eight family’s studied  at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center for very unusual symptoms were found to have high levels of copper, chromium, and arsenic in their hair and fingernails… all eventually traced to their wood burning stove. Children have much narrower airways than adults. These particles usually can't be seen in the air because they are about one-fourth of the diameter of human hair. Young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to breathing problems caused by wood smoke. Science Daily: Wood-Burning Stoves: Harmful or Safe? Replace old wood stoves with newer, more efficient models to reduce the amount of smoke produced. The problem was that there was no smoke. The best way to avoid difficulties with your wood-burning stove … Burn well-seasoned hardwood, which produces less smoke than green or softwood like pine, and don't allow the fire to smolder, which produces copious amounts of smoke. If you’re unsure how to do this, have a professional complete the … These types of woods have been treated with preservatives, one of which is arsenic-pentoxide mixed in chromium and copper solution. Hamsters who are exposed to wood burning stove emissions have considerably less pulmonary injury than do those who are exposed to burning anthracite, and especially bituminous coal. Now that they are making a comeback, so are the respiratory issues they caused which we had forgotten about. In addition, they are more frequently at home and thereby exposed to a greater amount of these residential air … Prolonged exposure to woodstove fires and close proximity to them will dry up a runny nose, guaranteed. Wood stoves can cause unexplained respiratory disease The mediator in the study seemed to be airway irritation from hydrocarbons and particulate matters released from the wood as it is burning causing the symptoms in infants through adolescents. Some of these chemicals have been linked directly to cancer, although not necessarily through wood smoke. Return of respiratory diseases related to wood stovesA respiratory condition which had gone away but which has just recently been “rediscovered”; namely, recurrent pneumonia, cough, and wheezing which does not seem to be associated with infectious illness. ... wood burning stoves … Individuals with existing heart conditions can suffer heart attacks or even premature death. Advertisement by Google(sorry, only few pages have ads). The answer? Cultures and laboratory work for bacteria and viruses were negative and there was no family history of asthma, tuberculosis, cigarette smoking, or any other chronic respiratory diseases. Eventually, after much trial and error, it became obvious that the wood burning stove was the sole cause of the respiratory symptoms, and when the family switched back to oil heat, the baby’s symptoms subsided and he began to develop normally. Exposure to … Burning wood, hot and fast to cut down on the emission seems to be the only answer at present. Then I realized that I was smelling it other places. You could also be at especially high risk of developing health problems from wood-burning stove fumes if you: Have heart or lung disease, including congestive heart failure (CHF), angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or asthma Have a chronic illness, such as cancer, lupus, or an immune deficiency Not only are these chemicals harmful when breathed in, but they can also be brought deep into the body by the fine particulates released during burning. What do pilgrim and pioneer children have in common with aborigines in the highlands of New Guinea, hamsters, and some children living in "progressive" homes of today? Return of respiratory diseases related to wood stoves, Wood stoves can cause unexplained respiratory disease, ©2020 Corporate Medical Consulting LLC - All rights reserved. Exposure to wood smoke, even from a neighbor's fireplace, can also cause burning eyes, headache, sore throat, excess phlegm, tightness in the chest and sinus problems. If you have small children, a wood-burning stove can be a serious hazard as the surface metal on the unit can be hot enough to cause serious burns on contact. Sometimes, problems with draft can cause the smoke from your wood stove to come back into the room, rather than going up the flue as it’s supposed to. Other studies have shown that some Aborigines in New Guinea have a style of hut in which emission levels from their fires are extraordinarily high and produce the early development of chronic lung disease. It's difficult to locate 'benefactors' for a medical site which don't suggest a conflict of interest of some sort. Having a tightly insulated house and using wood burning stoves, especially those that are slow burning, seem to be the culprits. I found that quite a few people have this happen. People with existing heart, lung or respiratory tract conditions have a low tolerance for wood smoke. But a wood-burning fire in your fireplace can cause health problems, especially if you or a family member has a history of lung disease. The study was well controlled and the children were matched for age, sex, hometown, head of household’s education, use of humidifiers, and exposure to cigarette smoking in the home. Wood-burning stoves have the added problem of extremely hot surfaces being accessible to anyone in the room. Wood smoke contains fine … As always, take the advice of your pediatrician for worrisome respiratory symptoms in your infants, children and teens. It is the cold air outside that pulls the moisture from the inside air. Dry Air. Wood smoke can affect everyone, but the populations known to be at greater risk include: children, teenagers, older adults, people with lung disease -- including asthma and COPD, people with heart … Smoking: a common wood stove problem. I lived in a bus on a commune for awhile and our woodstove was right next to my bed. How to Improve the Draw of a Wood-Burning Stove to Help It Burn Better. Make sure your fireplace or wood stove is properly installed and vented so that most of the smoke exits the house, and check regularly for leaks. Washington State: How Wood Smoke Harms Your Health, The Hazards of Burning Old Wood in a Fireplace. No more so than any other form of heat. Buy a new one from your hearth store and replace it. Problems with mucus drainage may also occur if airborne allergens in the air are inhaled into the sinus through the nasal cavities. Children have much narrower airways than adults. Without proper draw, wood will smolder, and smoke may … Fumes from inappropriate burning of trash, propane, coal, charcoal, oil, wood and natural gas Pollution can cause sinus irritation You may assume that staying indoors is the best solution in avoiding … I don't want what is suggested or recommended here to have even a hint at motivation other than the truth and what is best for children. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, breathing in woodsmoke particles can lead to heart attacks, irregular heartbeats and decreased lung function as well as airway irritation that causes coughing and difficulty breathing. While a blockage in the flue or the … © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Inhalation of the ash led to chronic exposure of the respiratory system, and all eight members of the family had bronchitis and lung congestion. He found a three-month old infant who developed severe respiratory symptoms as soon as the family began using a wood stove as a primary heat source – recurrent pneumonia, cough, and wheezing which was not caused by the medical problems commonly thought of. The problem we are talking about is with wood stoves. This is more likely if you suffer from blockages from a deviated septum or other structural problems in your nasal cavity. Wood-burning stoves can help save you money on your heating bill, and burning wood as a heat source can be easier on the environment than gas or coal. Dr. Richard E. Honicky M.D. Wood-burning stoves cause the air in your house to become quite dry. Prolonged exposure to woodstove fires and close proximity to them will dry up a runny nose, guaranteed. The particles and chemicals in the smoke can trigger asthma attacks and difficulty breathing for people already suffering from bronchitis and emphysema. Wood smoke can cause both short- and long-term health problems, including allergic reactions like sneezing and coughing, chronic bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia and emphysema. If you own or manage an organization interested simply in providing free education about the health of children and don't have an "agenda" or expectation for endorsement, please, contact us. Wood-burning stoves need adequate air to operate properly.