Ban firepits

Letter by Cathy Baiton, printed in the Calgary Herald ( Letters – August 31, 2015

Re: “Firepit smoke just as noxious,” Letters, Aug. 28.

I hope Alberta health officials and public policy decision-makers heed Sue Timmins’ call for the protection of “beautiful, clean air … free of pollution.”

Wildfire smoke is wood smoke. If our provincial and municipal officials care about the air quality people are breathing during episodes of wildfire smoke, they should also be concerned that people breathe similar — sometimes worse — concentrations of particulate matter, if they live next to or downwind of a neighbour who burns wood. Studies show wood-burning bans save lives.

Alberta Health’s air quality advisories should make it clear why deliberate wood burning should never be done in residential areas, and why preventive residential wood-burning bans throughout our province would benefit the environment and public health.