I recently signed this petition: Stop new wood heaters emitting more pollution in a few hours than the average car in an entire year. It was put together by the good, hardworking and much appreciated people at Airquality Australia. Along with the Lung Foundation Australia, Asthma Australia and many other Australians, they care about peoples’ health. You, too, can help AirQuality Australia clear the air:
Thanks very much for signing the petition: Stop new wood heaters emitting more pollution in a few hours than the average car in an entire year.
A copy of the petition has been emailed to all environment ministers – they meet next week (15 Jul) to discuss wood heater pollution.
Sadly, very few people understand that the Committee that set current wood heater ‘standards’ had no health experts and was powerless to make any real improvements because the wood heating industry is allowed to veto any proposed changes.
A member of that Committee, the Clean Air Society of Aust/NZ, considers the new ‘standard’ so appalling it recently recommended to the NSW Government that “action to ban domestic solid fuel burning for domestic heating should be seriously considered“.
NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said wood heaters 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 recommended phasing out log-burning heaters in developed countries to reduce the risk of dangerous climate change as well as improve health. 56% of submissions to the Commonwealth Government’s Woodheater Consultation Regulation Impact Statement supported either a ban on all wood heaters, or not allowing new ones to be installed.
A good example of the mis-information from the wood heating industry is yesterday’s ABC radio interview with a wood heading industry lobbyist.
Ministers are likely to be fooled by lobbying from this profit-driven industry. If you haven’t done so already, please contact your state environment minister (details below and at http://woodsmoke.3sc.net/ministers) to point out that the current ‘standards’ were set by the wood heating industry and provide little or no protection to nearby residents.
This meaningless ‘standard’ should be withdrawn immediately and a task force set up to develop a replacement test that measures real-life emissions and to set an appropriate emissions limit that will safeguard public health.
Thanks very much for your support.
Contact details for environment ministers
Federal Greg.Hunt.MP@environment.gov.au (02) 6277 7920
NSW firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Speakman (02) 8574 6390
Vic email@example.com 03 9637 9654
SA firstname.lastname@example.org Ian Hunter MLC 08 84 63 5680
Qld email@example.com (07) 3719 7330
WA firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 6552 5800 Albert Jacob
Tas Premier & Environment minister: email@example.com (03) 6165 7724 – http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/HA/Cabinet.htm
ACT Health & Environment minister: Corbell , Simon firstname.lastname@example.org (02) 6205 0000Draft email you could use: http://woodsmoke.3sc.net/ministers
PS. Please encourage everyone who cares about the current damage from unhealthy air pollution to sign the petition, if they haven’t done so already.
Airquality Australia: Health Facts and Statistics Surrounding Wood-smoke and Health
The Lung Foundation Australia: Woodsmoke Harms Your Lungs
Asthma Australia: Woodfire Heaters
Finding my Way Out of The Labyrinth: My Plea to Lisa Neville, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, to Help Stop Wood-smoke Impacting on the Health of Myself and Others Who Suffer Medical Diseases and Conditions Exacerbated by Inhaling Wood-smoke
STOP WOOD-SMOKE: Draft Letter You (Too!) Can Use
And, Finally, Sign Here: Stop New Wood Heaters Emitting More Pollution in a Few Hours Than the Average Car in an Entire Year