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Occupational and Residential Wood Smoke Exposure Risks in Puerto Rico

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to detect and mitigate exposure hazards to wood smoke and other airborne pollutants.


Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

While anyone can be impacted by breathing wood smoke, the EPA states that the most vulnerable include children, teenagers, older adults, people with lung diseases, including asthma and COPD, or people with heart disease.

The smell of burning wood is pleasant to some people, but even though wood is a natural substance, exposure to wood smoke can cause health concerns. This can be an issue in homes, but there are also a number of workers in occupations and industries across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean that burn wood to produce energy, for cooking or other purposes that could also be exposed to it on the job.
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the smoke from burning wood contains a complex mixture of gases and fine particles (also called particle pollution, particulate matter or PM). In addition to particle pollution, wood smoke contains several harmful air pollutants, including: formaldehyde, benzene, acrolein and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). During the burning of wood, carbon monoxide (CO) is also produced creating potential hazards.
 
According to the EPA, short-term exposures to particles from wood smoke can aggravate lung disease, causing asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and may also increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. Long-term exposures have been associated with reduced lung function, the development of chronic bronchitis and even premature death. Some studies also suggest that long-term PM 2.5 exposures may be linked to cancer and to harmful developmental and reproductive effects.
 
“Anytime smoke from a wood fire is produced, it’s critical that it is exhausted properly to prevent exposure hazards,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “While anyone can be impacted by breathing wood smoke, the EPA states that the most vulnerable include children, teenagers, older adults, people with lung diseases, including asthma and COPD, or people with heart disease.”
 
As part of their array of indoor environmental quality and industrial hygiene services, Zimmetry offers testing, monitoring and solutions to exposure hazards associated with wood smoke and other airborne pollutants. Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about wood smoke exposure that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/2Eo-oodwd-c
 
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their occupational, industrial hygiene, environmental, air quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email info@zimmetry.com .
 
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
 


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 Puerto Rico
 Wood Smoke
 Air Testing
 Indoor Air Quality
 Industrial Hygiene


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