The Hellenic Anti-Cancer Society warns in an open letter to citizens and the State that the fireplace poses a direct threat to health.
As it says: “As we go through a cold period, many of you use the fireplace to warm up, either because you want to enjoy a cozy feeling (to give a touch of graphic to your life), or because it is a more economically advantageous heating option . Neither is true!
The wood burning releases inside and outside (air) Large quantities of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), benzene, dioxins and particulates, and even the smallest ones, known as PM 2,5mm, which deeply penetrate and settle in lung cells and from there pass into the bloodstream and reach various organs of the body. Pollution affects both the air in the house that has the fireplace lit, as well as the neighboring houses, but also the air on the roads we move. ”
In this admittedly alarming letter, the UAE points out that the problem of air pollution is affecting many health services around the world, and large transnational organizations, because it is a major health problem causing hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.
The UAE notes that the high density of suspended particles in the air, according to all studies and findings of the World Health Organization, causes an increase in the incidence of cancer (in those exposed to it) and a multitude of other diseases. It is also an additional cause of air pollution far greater than that caused by car exhaust.
Appeal to Citizens for the fireplace
“No matter what kind of fireplace you use, you are damaging your own health and that of your fellow citizens. The problem is bigger in cities without good ventilation, such as Athens; the situation with winter air pollution, especially on days without high winds, is unacceptably unhealthy. You don’t have to have special meters to understand the increased density of the particles and toxins you inhale, as long as the smell of burnt wood is enough. When you smell it, you inhale extremely large quantities of toxins and suspended particles. In fact there is no graphic to this feeling, you just have to take it as it really is: a factor that puts you at risk for cancer and other diseases. ”
“Dear fellow citizens,
stop using your fireplaces, for your own and for the good of others. To protect your health, protect vulnerable groups of the population (eg cancer patients, people with chronic respiratory failure, pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly) and all of your fellow citizens.
As for the economy, it is well known that the fireplace often fails to heat your home (compared to the radiator), buying wood is not so cheap, but the costs of deteriorating your health will far outweigh the slippery economy achieved by burning wood.
Let us not let the economic crisis and the wrong impression hurt us. Do not be a cause of harm to yourself and to others. ”
“If someone wants to burn wood in their fireplace, it is not their right to do so”
But the letter also addresses the government and citizens’ representatives in the Greek Parliament, stressing that the state exists to promote the well-being of its citizens.
“Health protection is its primary task. You, as democratically elected, must immediately take the appropriate steps to stop unreasonable air pollution from burning fireplaces in the cities of the center or the region, ”the UAE said, adding:
“Since you have not been granted the right to take ‘compulsory measures’, after first informing the public of the risks of wood burning pollution, please proceed to:
- legal prohibition of burning wood in urban centers and provide for checks and penalties for offenders.
a ban on planning approval for housing construction in the wider Attica basin (and other cities) where fireplaces are foreseen.
- providing appropriate financial incentives to allow households to get rid of fireplaces and to use natural gas or good quality oil or electrical appliances.
- Investing in such a practice is a health benefit that you owe to the townspeople and that you owe on your job and mission. And in economic terms it is an investment today that will bring immediate and far-reaching benefits to the national economy. “
Finally, in a strict style the letter for the use of the fireplace concludes:
“To emphasize that if one wants to burn wood in their fireplace, it is not their right to do so, because by doing so, as studies have shown, it also endangers those living in neighboring homes and even further afield. If the ban on smoking was properly promoted to protect citizens from passive smoking, the question arises – which will turn into indignation – how the State is indifferent to this larger and more passive exposure of so many citizens to combustion pollutants. of wood. ”
Source – iefimerida.gr