Fireplaces and Health & Safety Concerns Arise as Arctic Blast Hits Nation
EMSL Analytical provides safety information and testing services to identify pollutants in indoor environments caused by fireplaces.
Cinnaminson, NJ, December 6, 2013
In the last few days, most of the nation has been impacted by a blast of frigid arctic air that has caused temperatures in some areas to drop by dozens of degrees. The onset of cold weather has resulted in many families using their wood burning fireplaces for the first time this season.
According to the EPA’s Burn Wise program, there are approximately 29 million wood-burning fireplaces in the United States. Although fireplaces can provide warmth and ambiance, they can also create indoor air quality (IAQ) issues if the fireplace is not operating properly.
Combustion gases and particles can enter a home from a chimney and flue that has been improperly installed or maintained. Pollutants from fireplaces and wood stoves with no dedicated outdoor air supply can even be back-drafted from the chimney into the home.
Smoke from a wood-burning fireplace may smell good, but it’s not good for people. Wood smoke can affect everyone, but children, the elderly and people with lung disease, including asthma and COPD or people with heart disease are often the most vulnerable.
“Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and particulates that are produced when wood burns,” reports Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “A significant health threat from smoke comes from fine particulate matter. These microscopic particles can get into people’s eyes and respiratory system, where they may cause health problems. Particulate matter can also create ghosting effects on walls and materials when it settles in a home. In addition to particle pollution, wood smoke can contain harmful air pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde and other chemicals. Carbon monoxide is another major concern. This colorless, odorless gas interferes with the delivery of oxygen throughout the body. People exposed to carbon monoxide may experience a range of symptoms from headaches and dizziness to death at high concentrations,” he continued.
EMSL provides a wide range of analytical services to identify indoor pollutants, such as soot and other particulate matter, caused by improperly operating fireplaces. In addition, EMSL offers field testing equipment to monitor particulate levels and various gases such as carbon monoxide.
An online video sponsored by EMSL about fireplaces and IAQ issues can be seen at:
To learn more about testing services or field testing equipment for people with concerns over indoor pollutants from fireplaces, please visit www.SootTesting.com or www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
- Contact Information
- Joseph Frasca
- Senior Vice President of Marketing
- EMSL Analytical
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