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August 26 – Strathfield Council encourages wood smoke awareness

26 August 2014

Strathfield residents who would like to find out more about reducing wood smoke pollution from their wood fireplaces are encouraged to attend an information session at Strathfield Library.

The session is part of Council’s Wood Smoke Reduction Program funded by a grant received from the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in February. The Wood Smoke Reduction Program is an opportunity for Council to promote awareness about the effects of wood smoke on health and the benefits of correct wood heater operation.

Smoke from wood heaters contains a mix of pollutants with differing effects on health. Fine particles in smoke can cause short-term irritations in the eyes, nose and throat. A poorly installed wood heater can cause elevated levels of carbon monoxide inside a home, which may result in headaches, fatigue or chest pain.

The first stage of addressing wood smoke pollution in the local area saw Council undertake a smoky chimney survey to help indentify wood heaters in the area that may not be maintained properly or may be using incorrect fuel. The second stage involves a community education program to advise residents of correct operational and cleaning procedures to reduce wood smoke pollution and improve local air quality.

Mayor of Strathfield, Cr Daniel Bott encouraged residents to find out more about how to operate their heater and what they can do to reduce wood smoke pollution in the local area.

“Many people don’t realise the level of pollution caused by smoke from wood heaters, and the simple steps that can be taken to reduce it,” Cr Bott said.

“I encourage any residents with wood heaters to attend the information session to find out more information about the guidelines for their use.”

Residents who would like to complete a survey or find out more information about wood smoke pollution are invited to attend the information session to be held at Strathfield Library on 18 September. To register for the session, contact Strathfield Council on 9748 9999.