"Burn Wise" with Help from the US Environmental Protection Agency
Each year, wood burning occurs throughout the United States for a variety of reasons, whether as a source of heat during cold winter months or as a focal point for outdoor summer entertainment in the backyard. Burning wood is a renewable energy source, although according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), it can have an impact on public health and the environment. Therefore, it is up to every resident to ensure that wood is burned properly to protect the health and quality of air for ourselves and our neighbors.
The smoke resulting from burning wood contains gases and fine particles that cause both short and long term health effects such as burning eyes, runny nose, asthma attacks and even reduced lung function. It also results in an increase in environmental pollution. It is essential that people use clean well-seasoned wood and good fire building practices to reduce smoke inside and outside of the home.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) maintains a program entitled, "Burn Wise: Learn Before You Burn." This educational program and website provides information about safe wood burning practices for consumers, partners and agencies concerned about this issue. Burn Wise also provides best burn practices and includes messages about ways to increase energy efficiency by burning less wood, cost savings, improved safety, and pollution reduction.
To learn more about the Burn Wise campaign, visit the US EPA website at, http://www.epa.gov/burnwise . You can also visit the NJDEP website for information on wood burning in New Jersey at, http://www.nj.gov/dep/baqp/woodburning.html or the Sussex County Department of Environmental and Public Health Services at, www.sussex.nj.us/health.