There's only one problem with a romantic evening in front of a wood fire: air pollution.
When wood burns, dozens of hazardous toxins are released into the air, including, but not limited to, fine particles (PM2.5), carbon monoxide (CO), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
These substances have been linked to a worsening of such health problems as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease. And some may be mutagenic or carcinogenic.
Fine particles, which come from various sources, including wood burning, are one of the major air pollutants in Quebec and
Because of their very small size (2.5 micrometres in diameter, as compared with a human hair at 60 micrometres), fine particles can easily penetrate deep into the lungs, and pass into the bloodstream, affecting the cardiovascular system.
Smoke from burning wood is bad for everyone’s health, but some people are especially sensitive, particularly young children, the elderly, and people suffering from heart or respiratory problems.
The numbers are sobering: each year,
to air pollution on the island of Montreal. The Institut national de santé publique du Québec estimates that fine particles are responsible for 6028 cases of infantile bronchitis and 40,449 days of asthma symptoms every year in Montreal.