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To: Health & Environment Ministers & EPAs
Stop new wood heaters emitting more pollution in a few hours than the average car in an entire year
Set an independent health-based standard for domestic wood heaters and withdraw the 'standard' set by the wood heating industry (see photos) that allows them to emit more of the most health-hazardous air pollutant, PM2.5, in a few hours than the average petrol car does in an entire year.
Problems with the current 'standard' led to health experts such as the NSW Chief Medical Officer to say that wood heaters are so detrimental to health they should be banned and phased them out in built-up urban areas.
Once a new standard has been developed, existing sub-standard heaters will need to be replaced.
Why is this important?
NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said current wood heaters models are so detrimental to health she supports banning and phasing them out in built-up urban areas.
The NSW Asthma Foundation warned that: wood smoke emissions in winter pose a bigger health danger in built up urban areas than cars or cigarettes. Australian Lung Foundation spokesman Dr James Markos said wood fire heaters should be banned from urban areas. He said real-life emissions from new wood-heaters have little relationship to measurements from a perfectly operated test model under laboratory conditions.
The UN Environment Program/World Meteorological Organization (UNEP/WMO) recommended phasing out log-burning heaters in developed countries to reduce global warming as well as improve health.
People need to know that fine particle (PM2.5) pollution is considered the most health-hazardous air pollutant, that there is no safe level of PM2.5 pollution and that over half of Sydney's PM2.5 emissions coming from a small proportion of houses using wood heaters,