The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is asking residents not to burn wood in their fireplaces or woodstoves over the Christmas holiday to prevent unhealthy air quality in the region.
The agency, which is responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area, says that while air quality is expected to be good to moderate throughout the region, wood burning during the Christmas holiday could significantly impact localized areas and neighborhoods, as well as affecting indoor air quality.
“We are asking Bay Area residents to forego their fire this Christmas to help keep air pollution low,” said Jack Broadbent, the air district’s executive officer. “Not burning wood indoors or outdoors will help us all enjoy a healthier and happier holiday.”
Air district officials remind residents that like cigarette smoke, wood smoke contains fine particles and carcinogenic substances that make the air unhealthy to breathe.
The agency also is reminding people that burning wrapping paper is illegal. Decorative wrapping paper is manufactured using synthetic inks, plastic film, metallic finishes and other chemicals, which release toxic and carcinogenic compounds into the air when burned.
Bay Area residents can sign on to find out when a Spare the Air alert is in effect is by texting the word START to 817-57 or calling (877)4NO-BURN.