Re: "Wood smoke burns PoCo resident," Wednesday, Jan. 2.
This article sparked my interest and I have no doubt that such smoke emissions are making people sick.
Metro Vancouver has been considering smoke regulation since winter 2008.
Scientific studies were underway and revealed that wood smoke is dangerous to human health, linking it to serious health conditions, including cancer.
Therefore, it is surprising that wood smoke is still permitted in neighbourhoods and that this year (2013) more
(expensive) studies have to be conducted to find out what impact wood smoke has on the region.
Metro receiving (only) 90 complaint calls about wood smoke and PoCo only having two is not surprising, as people do not like to complain about their neighbours.
But the about-90 wood-smoke complaints Metro gets per year would be in tenfold plus, if the general public knew that wood smoke contains numerous chemicals hazardous to health, in addition to the fine particulate matter.
Particulate matter is toxic, according to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Most of this particulate is smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter; they consequently may be carried deep into the lungs while breathing.
Many respiratory diseases are linked to wood smoke exposure, and so are lung and heart problems - stroke and arrhythmia are among these, even cancer.
Some chemicals in wood smoke are toxic and combine with particulate matter, and these chemicals, particularly PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), aldehydes and phenols (all of which are carcinogenic and mutagenic), can enter the body system through inhalation and have a chance to interfere with the integrity of any one of the approximately 100 trillion cells that comprise the human body, resulting in possible cellular mutation. Most forms of cancer are cellular mutations.
This can happen to anyone when they breathe air that smells of wood smoke.
Metro would be wise to apply measures soon, in order to get toxic wood smoke emissions out of neighbourhoods, in order to prevent needless human suffering.
Brie Oishi Port Coquitlam