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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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Wood Fires in Homes Could Damage Health

Lazing in front of the dancing flames of a log fire is one of the pleasures of winter in our area. Especially when it’s cold and icy outside. Most homes in Fairfield County have at least one fireplace. Some of the newer homes have many more. I was recently in a house that had a total of seven fireplaces, two of them in the same room! Struck me as a bit extravagant.

According to an article in the New York Times, there is a growing trend away from wood fires especially in the western states. And this trend is spreading East as people become increasingly concerned about the environmental consequences of burning wood in open fires. And what about all that expensively warmed air that just floats up your chimney?

Apart from the toxic emissions caused by smoke, residual fumes remain in the home long after the fire has died down. Doctors are finding that airborne particles that result from burning wood in the home can lead to an increased risk of respiratory disease as well as certain types of cancer.

If you just can’t live without your log fire, you might consider investing in a fireplace insert, which will increase the efficiency of your fireplace and prevent air from your home escaping up the chimney. Or think about replacing it with a wood or gas stove. You'll be looking out for your own health as well as that of our planet.

How often do you burn wood in your fireplace? Do you have asthma? Are you worried that the airborne particles from the burning logs could be affecting your health? Drop me a line at

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