Burn ‘clean’ and improve air quality, residents urged

RESIDENTS who burn wood or other solid fuels to heat their homes will be encouraged to cut down their use or switch to less polluting
alternatives under a project running across Sussex.
One in 10 households in the south east burns wood – the highest rate in
the country – producing harmful gases and particles which have an
adverse effect on air quality.
The air quality partnership Sussex Air has received £32,000 of
Government funding for the project – Clean Burn Sussex – which will
run across East and West Sussex and Brighton & Hove.
It will include work to raise awareness of the health and environmental impact of burning solid fuels such as wood and coal and to encourage
people to choose cleaner, more efficient fuels. It will also assist those
households whose only source of heating is wood or coal to find sources of funding where available to switch to less polluting alternatives.
Nadeem Shad, chair of Sussex Air, said: “Many people enjoy having an
open fire in their home, but as attractive as that might sound, it does
come at a cost.
“Wood smoke can affect the air quality of whole neighbourhoods and
the emissions it produces can contribute to cardiovascular and
respiratory conditions and cancer. “People can play their part in
improving our air quality by restricting the number of times they use
log burners, or switching to less-polluting alternatives such as seasoned wood.
“This project will work with local authorities to promote the use of
cleaner, less polluting fuels and more efficient stoves, thus encouraging people who continue to burn to do so in a less polluting way, with the
aim of improving air quality across Sussex.”
The funding, awarded by the Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs, will be used to attempt to map where wood burning is
taking place across Sussex and to provide information on ways to
minimise pollution from their use
It is aimed at contributing towards a Government pledge to cut
emissions from solid fuels by 46 per cent by 2030 including by phasing
out coal and restricting the sale of wet wood, which produces more
smoke.
High pollution levels can have serious effects on those with asthma and other respiratory conditions. airAlert is a free messaging service straight to people’s phone or computer, letting them know air pollution levels in their area.