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Is Wood Smoke from a Fireplace or Wood-Burning Stove Creating Indoor Environmental Quality Issues in Your Home?

EMSL Analytical provides indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services, sampling supplies, test kits and monitoring instruments to identify combustion gases, smoke residues and particulate matter.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

There are tens of millions of homes across the United States and Canada that have a wood-burning fireplace or stove. During this time of year, fireplaces and stoves are used by some as their primary source of heat and by others for added warmth and to create ambience.

In some cities and towns, wood-burning restrictions are sometimes declared when pollution from particulate matter (PM) is forecast to be high. Just as wood-burning devices can add to pollution levels outdoors, they can also create indoor air quality (IAQ) issues if the fireplace is not operating properly. This is due to the fact that combustion gases and particulates can enter a home from a chimney and flue that was not properly installed or maintained. Pollutants from a fireplace or wood stove with no dedicated outdoor air supply can, in some circumstances, create a back-draft from the chimney into the home.

In addition to the obvious hazards associated with carbon monoxide, a significant health issue associated with wood-burning fires comes from fine particulate matter. These microscopic particles can easily get into people’s eyes and respiratory system. Particulate matter can even create ghosting effects on walls and surfaces when it settles in a home. Wood smoke also contains harmful air pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde and other chemicals.

“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,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “The EPA also reported that anyone recovering from COVID-19 may be at increased risk of health effects from exposure to residential wood smoke this heating season due to compromised heart and/or lung function related to COVID-19. EMSL offers laboratory testing services and easy-to-use test kits to identify smoke residues. They also carry air monitoring instruments to detect and measure particulate matter, as well as combustion gases such as carbon monoxide.”

EMSL has sponsored an educational video about fireplaces and indoor air quality that can be seen at:

To learn more about indoor environmental quality testing, sampling supplies and monitoring instruments, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email . To access IEQ test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Indoor Air Quality
 Carbon Monoxide

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