SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, news release, Dec. 22, 2014
FRIDAY, Jan. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Although many people enjoy gathering around a fire during cold winter months, fires that aren't built properly can affect air quality and people's health, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Smoke coming out of the chimney is one sign that a fire isn't burning efficiently. Smoke from wood contains fine particles, known as fine particle pollution. These particles can injure the lungs, blood vessels and the heart. Children, older people and those with heart and lung disease are at greatest risk from fine particle pollution, according to the EPA.
EPA tips for building a cleaner-burning fire include:
If you use a wood stove to heat your house, you can save wood and create less smoke with an EPA-certified wood stove. In January 2014, the EPA proposed updates to its requirements for newly made wood heaters that will make these products cleaner in the future. Final regulations are expected to be announced in February 2015.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides more information on winter fire safety.