Increased fireplace use impacted air quality
January 24, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
The air in Issaquah turned thick with wood smoke Jan. 20 as residents lit fireplaces for warmth amid a regional power outage.
The agency responsible for monitoring air quality in the region, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, ranked the air quality in King County as moderate for days last week.
The ranking means air quality is acceptable, but for some pollutants a moderate health concern exists. The health concern impacts people sensitive to air pollution — small children, senior citizens and people suffering from chronic health conditions.
What to know
Find daily air quality updates and learn more more about health impacts from air quality, permits and more at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website, www.pscleanair.org.
The air pollutants can be harmful for people suffering from heart disease, diabetes, asthma and lung diseases. Pollutants pose the most risk to children and older adults.
Amy Warren, a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency spokeswoman, said wood smoke and other pollutants in the air can also affect people in good health as they exert themselves to clean up downed trees or other debris from the recent snow and ice storms.
Puget Sound Clean Air Agency officials put a burn ban in place last week, but lifted the order Jan. 14. The possibility of another burn ban in the days after the snowstorm and ice storm is unlikely.
“Given that so many people are without power and relying on stoves or fireplaces for such an immediate need, we wouldn’t call a burn ban in that situation,” Warren said.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.