I was very disappointed to read in the Feb. 24 Comox Valley Record that the woodburning appliance industry is fighting woodstove bylaws in the Comox Valley. If all humans truly cared about the place where they live and the people who live there, bylaws wouldn’t be necessary. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and so we have bylaws to guide us.
We now know that wood-burning causes not just unpleasant and irritating smoke, but that smoke contains toxins that can seriously endanger our health. Industries that manufacture and/or sell items that can affect us adversely often don’t take that factor into consideration. They merely want to keep on making money from selling their products.
The newer, EPA-approved woodburning stoves produce ultra-fine particulates that are able to pass through the lungs and into the bloodstream. Burning wood in these newer woodstoves still produces and releases the same dangerous toxins, such as benzo(a)pyrene, benzene, formaldehyde and arsenic, as the old stoves did.
Our local governments are striving to protect the health of our communities. They are taking a courageous stand in creating these new bylaws, just as governments did when they banned cigarette smoking in public places.
Change always causes some sort of “change-back” behaviour, but what the wood-burning appliance industry is trying to do in challenging our local governments’ efforts to ensure clean air for us all is unconscionable.
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