Wood burners: Most polluting fuels to... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Wood burners: Most polluting fuels to be banned in the home.

2greys profile image

Owners of wood burners, stoves and open fires will no longer be able to buy coal or wet wood to burn in them, under a ban to be rolled out from next year.

Sales of the two most polluting fuels will be phased out in England to help cut air pollution, the government says.

Bags of logs sold in DIY stores, garden centres and petrol stations often contain wet wood - a type of wood which produces more pollution and smoke.


15 Replies

Not before time either.

I use the Air Visual app on my phone and now I always weigh up the level of air pollution with the importance and need to go out, in what is a very polluted city. There is a very real correlation between the ambient temperature and the alarmingly high levels of PM 2.5 pollution on the cold days, which regularly exceed safe levels.

There are also visible spikes that can be seen in NO2 levels and rush hours, once again exceeding safe levels.

Perhaps if the councils started to get fined when safe levels are breached, then the councils will start to monitor their air quality better and have some sort of enforcement process. I can go out and see loads of smoke coming from chimneys all around, a fair amount emitting black smoke from burning raw coal. Yet the East of the River Itchen, where I live, has been a smokeless zone for over 50 years now and it is never, ever enforced, neither is it publicised that the area is a smokeless zone.

A distinct show of lack of leadership from my council, if you complain, you get shoved onto the never ending roundabout of "pass the buck", with "not this department's problem". Complain to a Councillor and all they provide is just lip service. Yet they all breath the same polluted air! Ostriches and sand come to mind!

Yes I agree, About Time, The Log Burner may look Beautiful, But it is The cause of many of our Deteriorating Lungs. I felt it for 3 years. Now I have a Dial to keep me Warmth & Snug. XXX C.

Absolutely not before time. I have a friend on BRUS who has been campaigning for ages on this very subject as in her village so many folks have woodburners on the go in winter.


Interestingly, I attend a Pulmonary Rehabilitation course twice a week. However, on the journey I couldn't help but notice the many tall chimney stacks of industry, pumping out masses of smelly fumes. I started to cough miles away from them and by the time I arrived at my destination I felt unwell before even starting the exercises. It must be something the people living in the area are used to but, it appears to me if any of them have lung problems they are in a very difficult situation. What choice do they have? Nebulizers, inhalers and medication play their part of course but many people are not in the position to move to a healthier place to live and therefore, can't help themselves as much as they would like.

It is so obvious now, that environment plays a huge part in our health. These new bans are a start, and not before time, but there's still a long way to go unfortunately. Good news though, let's hope Wales, Scotland and Ireland take the initiative and follow suit.

Thank goodness, lets just hope the rules are followed.

On my finca in Spain wood burning is the only source of either available or affordable material to provide heat so unfortunately i will always be a polluter,but i always stack and dry my wood until it has at least reduced it's moisture content to 20% or less,easily measured with a small pronged humidifier gadget.Not necessarily to save the planet but wet wood does not burn efficiently.

My house is surrounded by pine trees but pine is not a good fuel as it burns too fiercely but the olive wood and other hardwoods once dried are probably some of the best to use and don't coat the chimney with pine resin though it is expensive if one needed to buy it.

A simple education in the burning of wood in this country could have probably reduced the need to take these measures but how many would adhere to its principles?mind you it does help that my nearest neighbour is more than 500 mtrs away from my chimney. :)

Ski's surviving on happy memories.

Such a shame you can’t get there any more. Would ferry and train be possible? Hope someone’s looking after it for you meantime.

skischool profile image
skischool in reply to teenieleek

Teenie,getting there is doable with oxygen and careful planning,staying there full time with reciprocal healthcare will probably be unachievable given the probable outcome of Brexit but i do hope to commute in the future if i have the opportunity of better health after a planned LVRS procedure that may or may not happen,?

Yes someone is paid to try to maintain it but it will need restoring to its former glory but thank you for your kind sentiments, :) x

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to skischool

One day Mike I am sure you will make it over there again, where there is a will there is a way. Keep dreaming of lolling about in the heat whilst we get wet and freeze x

skischool profile image
skischool in reply to Izb1

Irene,with a hectare of land and god knows how many fruit trees that need tlc i don't remember the last time i lolled around over there,not sure how i would cope now but thankfully the olives and almonds tend to look after themselves. :) xx

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to skischool

You could employ a good handyperson to help you out and then loll around or just keep to the manana saying, maybe the sunshine would give you more energy to get on with these jobs a little at a time, or get some family to come over a give you a lift. Hopes and dreams keep us going sometimes, so keep on dreaming x

Fingers crossed for you. I’m a long term ....is there a word for lover of Spain?....First went there in an old Hillman Minx in 1971, down Britain, through France and into El Pais Vasco. Franco was still in power, it was poor, dirty and I was smitten. Decades later I learned Spanish to a decent standard but I haven’t been recently and with a language it’s use it or lose it. I envy you your finca.

Un abrazo.

Yes not before time, I cant understand why people want them, but it does seem to be a modern thing to have them in new or modernised houses. I worked in the city of Manchester for over 20 years and am sure the damage from chimneys and buses has taken its toll on my lungs x

Whilst I agree that this type of fuel should be banned, how will it be policed? As many people that I know personally, often get their logs from the local forest, that are lying around or been cut down to promote healthier growth of new trees, and then the logs are left about the forest floor.

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