Essence Dennis |Staff Writer|
Burning wood will be prohibited beginning January 18 from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. in San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange County and the Los Angeles air basin.
During that time it will be prohibited for anyone to burn wood in their fireplaces at home or anywhere for that matter.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District has put in effect a no-burn day which is designed to stop some of the pollutants put into the air when burning wood.
“You get these particulates stuck in your lungs, and it stays there, it’s not going away,” said Biology professor, Joan Fryxell, when asked how the burning of wood will affect students.
When asked about the issue specifically pertaining to the student body history major, Juan Ochoa, believes the topic, “needs more coverage, but I’m completely for the no-burn day to happen.”
Health Science major, Celeste Youngblood, has similar feelings stating, “I didn’t hear much about it, but I feel as though it’s a good start to opening our eyes to some of the pollution.”
“For some, it’s hard to see wood burning as a type of hazard, but with enough of it in the air the particulate matter is detrimental to our health, especially during the colder months”, according to Doctor Robert Phalen, who has a PhD in environmental health and science.
Many districts concerned with the overall well-being of the air put “no-burn days” in effect in order to keep the pollution in our air from escalating into unhealthy levels stated by the EPA.
Wood burning is an issue because when burnt it releases smoke that contains fine particles that will damage lungs when inhaled.
The goal of these districts prohibiting any type of wood burning, especially fire wood, is to find quality air standards in a particular region.
With San Bernardino being stuck in the middle of mountains, if wood is burnt on a ‘stagnant’ day those fine particles are simply sitting in the air, being inhaled and becoming trapped within the lungs.
The same goes for burning wood on a windy day as, “You don’t want anyone burning anything on stagnant days or especially windy days because there’s more risk for a fire,” said Norman Meek, Social and Behavioral professor.
With this being put in effect on Saturday, California and other states affected must meet the specific air pollution standards that have been put in place by the federal government.
Some people don’t respect these types of standards that are set to “limit poor air quality” that can affect those living lower in cities where air pollution is much higher.
Dr. Phalen who works in Environmental Sustainability states that the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) shows that people are burning more wood to warm up their households during the wintertime.
This causes inversion, trapping pollutants and possibly leading to a poor air quality condition.
No-Burn Day was conceived in the hopes that it will bring beneficial change to the quality of our air.