“Stuart Phelps argues that “poverty is the only excuse for burning wood in the city”.
Last March we had a clean white blanket of snow, no traffic—but no fresh air because woodsmoke was way over World Health Organisation guidelines. Technically, the 24-hour average of ultrafine particles (PM2.5) exceeded the 25 micrograms per cubic metre of air that the WHO sets as the maximum—by a large margin. The finer the particles, the more damaging they are for human health, as they are able to pass from lungs into the rest of the body.
A small but growing group lit wood burning stoves and fires, adding to the pollution from the continent, and pushing us over a limit the WHO reckons we should only exceed three times a year. In March we were over for three consecutive days. But Bristol had already exceeded the three day ‘target’ by the end of January 2017.”