The government has been urged by state agencies and academics to stop all supports for unregulated household wood- and peat-burning stoves, because of their “toxic” emissions. Residential stoves were identified as one of the greatest causes of pollution in responses submitted to a consultation by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment into the introduction of a new air-pollution control programme. Irish building regulations currently encourage the use of renewable energy, including wood-burning stoves, as an energy-efficient alternative to open fireplaces. Ervia, a state agency previously known as Bord Gais, noted in its response that “combustion from the residential sector is the largest source of emissions, with 48% in 2016”. It said it was “concerned about the level of emissions from the increasingly popular biomass stoves being installed, especially in urban areas”. It cited research from the UK that found domestic wood burning accounted for up to 31% of “fine particle” emissions in London. Scientists have linked exposure to fine particles to health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation. They also believe it exacerbates medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
Times 8th Sept 2019 read more »