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Is burning wood bad for your health?

A study published by the American Chemical Society's (ACS) journal found that the small invisible particulates created by wood smoke may have several severe health effects. Known as wood smoke particulate matter (WSPM), the tiny items used for home heating may create unnecessary health risks.

During the winter months, air pollution rises significantly due to an increase in wood burning. For both economic and sentimental reasons, wood-burning fireplaces and stoves become a popular home heating option.

In homes that burn or neighbor wood-burning stoves, placing medical-grade air purifiers in bedrooms may cut down on prolonged exposure. This can greatly decrease the potential negative health effects associated with wood burning. Wood burning increases the likelihood of developing a heart attack in adults, a stroke in post-menopausal women, aggravating current respiratory problems and contributes to asthma in young children, reports the LA Times.

Science Daily reports that WSPM contains aromatic hydrocarbons that work as a human carcinogen. These negative health effects can have permanent effects on a person's health. The change from wood-burning stoves to those that burn faux logs coated in natural gas may be a potential answer for a beneficial change. A medical-grade air purifier can also help to combat potentially harmful pollutants.

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