February 24, 2013

Visible wood smoke, smell indicate health problems

Letter to the Editor

The surgeon general says, "There is no safe level of tobacco smoke." The Environmental Protection Agency says, "Wood smoke is 12 times more carcinogenic than tobacco smoke."

Therefore, it follows that there is no safe level of wood smoke.

Visible smoke and smell indicate health problems, according to the Department of Human Services and EPA, and health problems have to be stopped and prevented, according to DHHS essential services policy and law.

The Surgeon General polls and Maine DHHS polls suggest 80 percent dislike smoke of any kind infiltrating their houses to sicken the 20 percent who are children, the 20 percent who are elderly, the 15 percent who are asthmatic, the 15 percent who are allergic, the 20 percent with heart disease. Surely there must be others like me who have been sickened by wood smoke pollution and want to be safe and healthy.

The city of Waterville, however, will not enforce laws or do what it is supposed to do to protect our constitutional rights. One councilor says he will not do anything unless I am part of a group.

So I am trying to organize other people who, like me, are sickened by wood smoke or do not like it. I would like a group of like-minded people to appear with me before the City Council and voice our concerns.

Planning discussions will be held in the library at 7 p.m. Monday and for four other meetings.

The Department of Environmental Protection and EPA modeling I helped work on shows typical wood smoke can cause heart attacks and asthma attacks in an hour or so in some suffers who live in houses next to burners. Smoke affects everyone, according to DHHS.

Ernest Grolimund



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