News-Miner letter to the editor:
June 8, 2015
To the editor: It was 50 years ago a law went into effect requiring the now famous “Surgeon general’s warning” to be printed on all cigarette packing. We’ve been hearing similar warnings about the health hazards of the PM 2.5 particulates in wood smoke, yet we continue to burn wood in very densely populated and low lying areas here in North Pole and Fairbanks. If there are serious fines for polluting the waterways, why are there not similar enforceable fines for polluting the air we breathe?
We’ve been blessed with more windy conditions in the past few weeks, which are not typical, so it’s hard to be concerned about an issue that seems to not exist. But exist it does. I attended a lecture by one of the local physicians and he shared some very informative data.
An oil-fired furnace produces one unit of of air pollution, an Environmental Protection Agency-approved wood stove produces more than 110 units of air pollution, and older stoves and the notorious outdoor boilers can produce more than 1000 units of air pollution.
Those who deny we have an air pollution problem in the Interior can probably also get honorary membership to the flat-Earth society as well, because they meet the criteria of being some kind of stupid. Wearing blinders and having no concern for the health of your community is as stupid and selfish as it gets.