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frank_davis


Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban


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Wood Smoke
frank_davis4
frank_davis
Last time I was in the River, there was a log fire burning in its traditional fireplace. How long before those become illegal?

Hard as it may be to believe, the fireplace — long considered a trophy, particularly in a city like New York — is acquiring a social stigma. Among those who aspire to be environmentally responsible, it is joining the ranks of bottled water and big houses.

“The smoke from a fire smells very nice,” said Diane Bailey, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. “But it can cause a lot of harm.” The tiny particles, she said, “can cause inflammation and illness, and can cross into the bloodstream, triggering heart attacks” as well as worsening other conditions.

Yeah, yeah. Heard it all before. But what's wrong with bottled water and big houses? The American Lung Association chipped in too, naturally.

Wood smoke contains some of the same particulates as cigarette smoke, said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, as well as known carcinogens like aldehydes; it has also been linked to respiratory problems in young children.

How long before burning anything anywhere becomes illegal? Not just wood or coal fires, but candles, incense, and even matches? Can't be long now.

Karen Soucy, an associate publisher at a nonprofit environmental magazine, isn’t swayed by that argument. She refuses to enter a home where wood has been burned, even infrequently.

Ms. Soucy, 46, blames fumes from a wood fire for sending her to the emergency room 25 years ago with a severe asthma attack. She had been staying at a friend’s house in Stowe, Vt., for about a day, she said, when her lungs seized up. She was taken to a hospital in an ambulance, and got two shots of adrenalin; the doctors blamed her friend’s cat.

“It was only later, working with a team of allergy doctors and pulmonologists, did we determine the culprit to be the wood-burning fumes from the various fireplaces,” Ms. Soucy said.

Now her husband scouts out any place they go in advance, to be sure it’s free of fireplaces, and she passes up countless dinners and parties. “I’m the one who feels guilty for always being the one to decline invitations or for making people go out of their way to clean their home,” she said. Even then, she added, “the smell lingers on everything.”

Associate publisher at a nonprofit environmental magazine? Well, what else would she be? And pity her poor husband, always a day or two ahead of her, like a private detective snooping round people's houses, or checking for telltale signs of coal or wood or smoke or ash through his binoculars from the roof opposite.

And how was she so sure that it was wood smoke, and nothing else, that triggered her asthma attack all those 25 years ago? Did she have samples of the smoke that she'd kept in a bottle? Or of the wood they'd been burning?

More than anything, why the heck would anyone want to invite someone as professionally hypersensitive as her to a dinner party? Wouldn't the simplest thing to do to just not bother? And wouldn't it be the wisest thing too? If she came, you'd be eyeing her warily all evening, afraid that she'd suddenly start gargling and coughing, and 25 years later her army of doctors and pulmonologists would finally determine that it was your egg flan that nearly killed her.

Why not tell her to just stay at home? After all, it seems to be okay to do that with smokers. Why not just phone up and say, "Hey listen, Karen, we're having a party but we're not going to invite you, because we're just sick to the back teeth of bending over backwards to try to accommodate hypochondriacs like you with their laundry lists of things that make them ill, and because we'd just like to have an evening where we relax and eat hamburgers, and drink beer, and smoke cigarettes in front of our blazing log fire with the cat and the dog curled up next to it."

And, of course, “the smell lingers on everything.” But you knew that.

And before I forget, what about that cat? Why haven't cats and dogs and pets of any sort whatsoever been banned everywhere yet? Lots of people are allergic to them, it seems. Can't be long before they're all banned.

And it all works through generating paralysing guilt, it seems.

Wickham Boyle, 60, a writer and consultant for nonprofit arts organizations, installed a soapstone stove in her Hudson Valley house after a saleswoman explained that it had a catalytic combustor that converts smoke into water and carbon dioxide. Guests sometimes ask her if she feels guilty about burning wood, she said, but she recites a laundry list of the stove’s high-efficiency features...

Sally Treadwell, a 51-year-old public relations executive in Boone, N.C., said nothing makes her happier than building a fire on a cold winter night. But most of the time she doesn’t, she said, because she feels too guilty about the damage it may do to the environment...

Sue Duncan, a 52-year-old landscaper in Austin, Tex.,.. Every time she builds a fire, it causes “inner conflict,” she said. “It’s a guilty pleasure.”

It's all come from showing consideration for other people, I suspect, and for being "inclusive" of people who've been "discriminated against". And so allowance was made for all the asthmatics and the disabled and the young and the old and every species of the lame and the halt. And it was the fit and the able who were asked to make way for them. And as more and more of them arrived, each with their own special requirements, the fit and able gradually made way, and made way, and made way, until they finally ended up shivering outside.

In this manner inclusivity bred exclusivity. And one kind of discrimination gave way to another, and anyway discrimination of one kind or another never went away for a single moment.

It was better the way it was before. At least it was no worse.

Ha hahahaha, I can't wait for this to come here to Norway. Can you imagine it, telling Norwegians they cannot have their efficient wood burning stove? In a country where temperatures regularly drop, at least in the North, to Arctic levels and there is electricity or electricity to chose from as an alternative. This country has been really quick to tag along behind all of the American anti smoking shit, now I wonder how fast they will be to take hold of this idea. It will cause a bloody revolution if they try it.

"Wood smoke contains some of the same particulates as cigarette smoke, said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, as well as known carcinogens like aldehydes; it has also been linked to respiratory problems in young children."

Just one question: How has humanity survived if wood smoke "kills off our children"?


"Just one question: How has humanity survived if wood smoke "kills off our children"?"

Survival of the fittest. I suspect in times gone by, the weaklings would have died off before ever living long enough to foist their righteous indignation on the rest of us.

Do these idiots not consider that evolution has provided us with defense mechanisms against smoke considering the time man has now spent in contact with all these nasty carcinogens from a little bit of smoke?

No. They prefer to blame a little bit of smoke, rather than all the industrial chemicals we now have around us all the time, vehicle and industrial pollution etc. Not of course forgetting all that lovely radioactive dust that has coated everything since we first started playing with nuclear weapons.


I despair

(Anonymous)
Leaving aside the fact that most (all?) of our human history has included wood fires for cooking, heat and light, and the fact that wood is the ultimate renewable fuel, if we allow that it was the wood burning which stopped her breathing, how do we know what that particular batch of wood may have been treated or contaminated with? Burning creosoted wood is obviously not very smart. Silly, self-indulgent, drama queens.

And all the folk I know who are genuinely allergic to cat dander ask only that the cat not be in the same room as them when they come to visit, not that the cat will have ridden the death train to the vet's.

PT Barnum

Bonkers. Glad I spent a year in the USA in the early eighties, while it was still a great country.

As I remember, it started with stubble burning.

I used to love seeing those tiny lines of fire snaking through the fields on an evening drive.



Straw and Stubble Burning Prohibition Bill [H.L.] 1984

"There is, of course, another point of view—that it is totally irresponsible to allow the agricultural industry to inflict on the rest of the community an obnoxious practice involving danger to life, damage to property, the erosion of amenities and a hazard to health which by long-established legislation would not be permitted to any other industry."

"I am often asked by lay people why we burn straw. I try to explain—and sometimes it is very difficult to explain—that the first reason is one of stubble sanitation to guard against straw-borne fungal diseases."


"In all frankness I cannot see this as a feud between town and country dwellers and it would be deplorable I am sure to my noble friend if this debate serves to stir up such a feud.

Yet he has implied to some extent in this debate and in previous debates that farmers are governed exclusively by self-interest and that the rest of the community are often casual victims."
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/lords/1984/feb/14/straw-and-stubble-burning-prohibition

Straw and Stubble

The ban on the burning of crop residues in the field came into force on 29 June 1993 under the Crop Residue (Burning) Regulations.

It is illegal to burn cereal straw and stubble and the residues from oilseed rape, peas and beans in the field, except under certain circumstances.
http://www.nfuonline.com/Membership/Business-services/Business-Guides/Environment/Straw-and-Stubble-Burning/

But there are herbicides, pesticides and fungicides that you can use instead.
I find those orange painted fields sickening.


Then secondhand smoke really took off for similar reasons.

But there are all manner of drugs you can be prescribed to mimic the anti-depressant and other effects of tobacco smoke.


Now they are after woodsmoke.

But instead of access to a free source of heat, if you have the time to go gathering it, there are huge power companies that will serve your needs, at a price they decide, with a cut to the government to help you give up to prevent global warming.


I have been suggesting for a while that everyone lay down a crate of lighters, for when things really get tough.

I don't think we are still up to using flint and tinder.


Rose

"Straw and Stubble Burning Prohibition Bill [H.L.] 1984

"There is, of course, another point of view—that it is totally irresponsible to allow the agricultural industry to inflict on the rest of the community an obnoxious practice involving danger to life, damage to property, the erosion of amenities and a hazard to health which by long-established legislation would not be permitted to any other industry.""

Actually - many years ago a farmer in the village I grew up in explained that the burning of stubble was important with respect of "returning to the soil what the growth of whichever crop took from it".
It sounds a rather crude explanation yet the farmer was very successful and his business was at the time expanding rapidly.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
XX And before I forget, what about that cat? Why haven't cats and dogs and pets of any sort whatsoever been banned everywhere yet? Lots of people are allergic to them, it seems.XX

Remember the story last week about a cat called to jury service?

Why the HEL do they want to know about house hold pets on a census form, if it is NOT with intent to know where they are WHEN the ban comes?

XX And before I forget, what about that cat? Why haven't cats and dogs and pets of any sort whatsoever been banned everywhere yet? Lots of people are allergic to them, it seems.XX

Remember the story last week about a cat called to jury service?

Why the HEL do they want to know about house hold pets on a census form, if it is NOT with intent to know where they are WHEN the ban comes?

It looks like Ms. Soucy should just stick to virtual parties with her phony Facebook friends all gathering at her non-toxic, make believe little FB page for some tactless, smoke-free fun and games.

I'm sure she considers herself a warm hearted humanitarian, too. Nothing could be further from the truth. How far removed from the human experience can we possibly get these days?

Even thinking about Ms. Soucy and company bores me to no end.

Oddly, "Sans Souci" is French for "without worries" or "carefree". So Souci or Soucy means "worry" or "concern". She lives up to her name.

Further panic

Julie Mellum: But the fire is not delightful - 2007

"We're snuffing secondhand tobacco smoke, but we continue to romanticize recreational wood burning -- a hazard all its own."

"Wood smoke comprises fine particulates, many of which are carcinogenic, such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

It is far more concentrated than cigarette smoke and travels much farther, spreading soot and fine particulates directly into our air and our lungs. It also invades our water and food supply with persistent organic compounds that do not break down but remain for years, causing a host of health problems in frogs, bluegills and mammals -- including humans.

Everyone is at risk from wood-smoke exposure. But children of all ages, the elderly, and anyone with asthma, allergies, or heart disease are in the highest-risk categories.

The American Lung Association states that a majority of asthmatics cite smoke of all kinds as a trigger for asthma attacks. Asthma is epidemic in children, and it is life-threatening. Wood smoke is even implicated in sudden infant death syndrome. Are we OK with this? Aren't these facts reason enough to stop recreational wood burning?"
Why, then, do people continue to burn? First, because they don't know how harmful it is. Second, because it is strongly promoted by the hearth and home industry.

And third, because burning wood is an addiction."
http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/12132066.html

Proposed wood burning ban draws fire

"it is even worse to allow these chronic and abusive wood-burners to needlessly pump our lungs full of ... fumes and particulates which bring great risks to our immediate and long term health."

"Influenced by a rash of studies showing that wood smoke poses severe health hazards, two-thirds of the residents who commented on the air district's plan said they favor mandatory controls on haze, smoke and airborne dust to control pockets of plumes in their neighborhoods."
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/01/20/MNGQUGD16.DTL


Wood Smoke vs. Cigarette Smoke

"Although many people associate tobacco smoke with certain health risks, research indicates that second hand wood smoke has potentially even greater ability to damage health.

A comparison between tobacco smoke and wood smoke using electron spin resonance revealed quite startling results (Rozenberg 2001, Wood Smoke is More Damaging than Tobacco Smoke). Tobacco smoke causes damage in the body for approximately 30 seconds after it is inhaled.

Wood smoke, however, continues to be chemically active and cause damage to cells in the body for up to 20 minutes, or 40 times longer.

EPA researchers suggest that the lifetime cancer risk from wood stove emissions may be 12 times greater than the lifetime cancer risk from exposure to an equal amount of cigarette smoke. (Rozenberg 2001, What's in Wood Smoke and Other Emissions)."
http://breathehealthyair.blogspot.com/2008/05/whats-in-that-wood-smoke.html


Woodsmoke Health Effects, A Review

"The sentiment that woodsmoke, being a natural substance, must be benign to humans is still sometimes heard.
It is now well established, however, that wood-burning stoves and fireplaces as well as wildland and agricultural fires emit significant quantities of known health-damaging pollutants, including several carcinogenic compounds."
http://ehs.sph.berkeley.edu/krsmith/publications/2006%20pubs/JIT%20Woodsmoke2.pdf


Medical Effect of Specific Wood Smoke Chemicals
http://www.burningissues.org/car-www/medical_effects/medical_effects_ws-specific-chem.html

I shall have to have a word with the "chronic and abusive wood-burners" next door.

I give them all the wood from my garden for their fire pit.

Rose

Stop the world – I want to get off! Can someone please give me a clue – just a little eensy-weensy hint – as to when this craziness is going to end? I really do wonder sometimes, as a commenter on here (I think) mentioned lately, whether the anti-smoking movement actually realised exactly what they would be unleashing. With hindsight, I really don’t think a lot of them did – I think that probably most of them genuinely, sincerely thought that “it” would only ever be about smoking, and once that had been done and dusted, life would proceed exactly as before. But since the ban came in here, not only have we seen countless other countries following suit (if I remember rightly there were only a handful of countries with bans before ours – what were they all doing? Waiting for us to jump first?), but we’ve also seen a myriad of reedy-voiced little protest groups jumping onto the “bannit” bandwagon. Ye Gods! Pretty soon there won’t be anyone left who won’t be a member of some aggrieved “minority” or another, whinging that their “rights” aren’t being paid attention to or that their “disability” isn’t being catered for.

Stop the world – I want to get off! Can someone please give me a clue – just a little eensy-weensy hint – as to when this craziness is going to end?

http://www.rampant-antismoking.com/
(Excerpts from Godber’s opening address)
“…..described the way in which education against smoking was to be incorporated into the general programme of health education which is so well presented in the USSR.
_

There were quite a few British doctors who travelled to the then USSR earlier than this.
A liitle club.

Somewhere in my bookmarks is some notes on them.

Interestingly, when people were marvelling over how Kim Philby had fooled them for so long, after he had escaped and defected, ome of his friends remarked that the only pro-Soviet thing he had ever heard him utter was that "he admired the Soviet health system". (reference to come)

If the Soviets targeted Cambridge Oxford & etc in the 50's with influence agents, later leading to MI5 moles - why not also those training in the medical professions - also a potentially great influence on society?

Just a hypothesis.

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