Article of Interest: Wood-Burning Stoves ‘A Serious Threat’
Our team at the Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:
“‘A serious threat’: calls grow for urgent review of England’s wood-burning stoves” from The Guardian.
Politicians and campaigners have called for an urgent review of wood-burning stoves, which cause large amounts of pollution in urban areas.
The calls follow the admission by the environment secretary that the government had set weaker air pollution targets than it would like. The admission came as she announced a new environmental plan for England that held back from banning wood-burning stoves and settled instead for “educating” people on their use.
The Times subsequently reported that the government would encourage councils to use their powers to issue householders £300 on-the-spot fines for flouting air pollution rules by burning logs at home.
This issue is important for people who experience chemical intolerance, said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.
“Smoke from any source, whether outdoors from a brush fire or barbecue grill or indoors from a fireplace or gas or wood stove, can cause eye, nose and throat irritation,” Miller said. “For more susceptible individuals, the particles and gases can lead to headaches, sinus infections, irritability, difficulty concentrating and even depression. Many veterans have become ill from exposure to burn pits. President Biden attributes his own son’s death from brain cancer to exposures to toxic combustion products from burn pits.”
How chemically sensitive are you?
Answer these three questions from Hoffman TILT’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):
- Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
- Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
- Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?
If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!