Air Pollution

Press release: Are Drivers Paying for Air Pollution from Wood Burning Stoves asks the ABD?

By 10th April 2019 April 11th, 2019 No Comments

Wood burning is now the largest single source of particulates (PM2.5) in the UK, at least twice as much as from traffic. Clean air policies in towns and cities around the UK, which will charge non-compliant vehicles in Clean Air Zones (CAZ) or Low Emission Zones (LEZ), look doomed to fail thanks to yet another ‘green’ mistake. It was the Cameron government that encouraged wood burning stoves and provided exemptions from the Clean Air Act in 2012 (1). ABD Environment spokesman Paul Biggs said: “I was one of the first people to point out the folly of wood burning in a letter to Local Transport Today published in January 2014 (2). Five years later my fears for the effects on air quality have been proved to be correct. One log-burning stove in a smokeless zone can produce more PM2.5 than 1000 petrol cars (3), 18 times as much pollution as a modern diesel car, and 6 times as much pollution as a diesel lorry (4). CAZ charges are just another example of drivers being used as an easy target for the primary purpose of revenue raising.” Wood burning stoves have a much longer life than cars so pose a long-term threat to air quality while the car fleet will continue to become cleaner as newer vehicles replace older ones. ENDS. Notes for Editors (1) The Smoke Control Areas (Exempted Fireplaces) (England) (No. 2) Order 2012: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2012/2282/schedule/made (2) Local Transport Today, 24th January 2014 (subscription required): https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/local-transport-today/comment/36885/britain-s-wrong-headed-road-safety-policies (3) BMJ: 2.4 times more PM2.5 pollution from domestic wood burning than traffic: https://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2757/rr-1 (4) Wood burning stoves emit 6 times as much pollution as a diesel truck: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6402031/Wood-burning-stoves-emit-six-times-pollution-diesel-truck.html (5) Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) Report: Air Quality and Vehicles – The Truth: https://www.abd.org.uk/air-quality-and-vehicles-the-truth/

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