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Wood Burning Suspected Source Of Higher Pollution Levels In Yellow Springs

Flickr Creative Commons User linus_art

The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency, or RAPCA, is investigating several instances of elevated levels of PM 2.5, a fine particulate that contributes to air pollution. RAPCA is responsible for monitoring air quality in a six-county area and officials there say several days during the months of December and January registered higher than other places in the region.

"One of the primary sources of fine particulate matter is wood burning," says RAPCA's John Paul. "There's a lot of wood burning in the Yellow Springs area."

The particulates in wood smoke can cause health problems, particularly for the elderly, children and people with asthma or other breathing issues. Paul says Yellow Springs' air quality is still within healthy limits, but that there are many ways village residents can burn their wood that makes less of an impact on air quality.

"Burn only clean, dry wood," says Paul. "Store your wood in an area  and build a shed or something so it doesn’t get wet. Make sure you’ve got a good stove. Make sure it’s properly maintained."

Paul says it's possible the pollution is coming from other sources and RAPCA hopes to partner with Wright State University to do further research until a final cause is determined.