Planning and Development will review wood burning within town limits following a request from a local resident.
Stanley J. Hoard spoke to town council Monday night about the health hazards of wood smoke and demanded something be done about burning in town.
He explained he has had issues with smoke from a neighbour's wood stove for years. And while he has called the fire department and bylaw department, it remains an ongoing problem.
Hoard said the Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that dioxin produced by wood smoke is toxic—and even worse for people with existing heart and lung problems and children, whose heart and lungs still are developing.
Wood smoke particles are smaller than red blood cells and can transport toxic gases, bacteria, and viruses into the lungs and the bloodstream.
It also is 12 times more likely to cause cancer than the same amount of tobacco smoke.
“Breathing in wood smoke in any quantity is not good for anyone,” Hoard said.
“Why should we be subjected to any residential wood-burning smoke and odour in our homes and yards and neighbours' homes, especially against our will?” he asked.
Hoard said the outside of his home and garage is covered with a black film from wood smoke, and at times his backyard has been thick with smoke.
He suggested at the very least the town could make it so the stovepipe length must be 36 inches above the peak of the roof (it is currently 24 inches).
But better yet would be a bylaw banning wood burning in town limits, and those people who violate it should have their wood-burning privileges removed.
“The only wise burning is no burning. There's no such thing as good smoke,” Hoard stressed.
“If you can smell smoke, then you are inhaling these particulates and the damage has begun.”
Council agreed to refer the matter to the Planning and Development executive committee for its recommendation, with input from the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service.