Extracts from Brisbane Air Quality Strategy draft – Domestic Burning

“While the use of wood heaters, fireplaces and stoves in Brisbane is on a relatively small and seasonal scale, Council is concerned about this activity.  Additionally, community complaints have been steadily rising, which may suggest an increase in the installation and use of these appliances. 

Wood heaters may contribute to overall air pollution but impacts are generally localised and can lead to serious health effects for owners of wood heaters and their neighbours.” 

“The health effects of wood smoke are well documented, with the primary concern surrounding the release of particles into the atmosphere, especially in the case of the very young, elderly and those with respiratory illnesses.  Very small particles (PM2.5) have been identified as having the strongest link with daily mortality and morbidity and wood smoke is comprised almost entirely of PM2.5.” 

“In cases where houses are very close together, it is possible that health guidelines may be exceeded within the receiving environment.  In these instances, even if smoke is not visible, highly toxic chemicals and odourous compounds (for example VOCs are still produced.”