Vermont DEC Air Pollution Control Division

Outdoor Wood-Fired Boilers
Facts & Information

clear clear
Main Page
About Outdoor Boilers
Health/Environment
Regulations
clear Vermont
clear Other
Science/Testing
Dealer Information
EPA OWB Program
Photos
Informational Links
Contact Us
clear
VT Certified OWBS
clear
clear

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

clear

Health & Environment

"State health and environmental agencies have received a growing number of complaints from owners and neighbors that OWBs produce thick, acrid, foul smoke that permeates buildings and homes, causing not only a nuisance, but also environmental degradation and health problems."  NY Attorney General's Report

outdoor wood furnace in VT

While all smoke is harmful, old style outdoor wood boilers generate more particulate pollution than indoor wood stoves.  The units are designed to burn wood at lower combustion temperatures and generally have shorter stacks which emit smoke at house level. Wood smoke releases fine particulates ("soot"), carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants. While the new certified OWBs produce less smoke, wood smoke in any form is a potential human health problem. As more and more families turn to wood for their energy, the devices they use need to be cleaner and cleaner in order to maintain Vermont’s air quality.

Children, whose lungs are still developing, and people with health,  heart or lung problems such as coronary artery disease, asthma, or emphysema are especially affected by smoke.  Legitimate health concerns account for the majority of nuisance complaints and have resulted in many municipalities and states passing regulations to protect the public health.

Concerns about health impacts and general air pollution have prompted states in the Northeast and Midwest and the US EPA to adopt programs limiting the smoke from OWBs. Manufacturing are cooperating and redesigning their OWBs to meet new particulate emission standards.

Want to learn more?

Health Links

The Dangers to Health from Outdoor Wood Furnaces(pdf), Environment & Human Health, Inc. 2010

_______________________________________________

Health Consultation (pdf), Michigan Department of Community Health & US Department of Health & Human Services 10/09

_______________________________________________

American Lung Association

_______________________________________________

American Lung Association of Maine
Position Statement: Outdoor Wood Boilers
3/06

_______________________________________________

Guidance for Health Professionals (pdf)
Wisconsin Division of Public Health

_______________________________________________

Health Effects of Wood Smoke (pdf)
Washington State Dept. of Ecology

_______________________________________________

Increased use of Outdoor Boilers causing some air quality concerns (pdf)
WI  

_______________________________________________

In-Field Fine Particulate Monitoring of an Outdoor Wood Boiler:
Public Health Concerns
- Johnson, NESCAUM 2006 (pdf)

_______________________________________________

Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution and Incidence of Cardiovascular Events in Women
NEJM 2/1/07 (pdf)

_______________________________________________

Short-term Exposure to Fine Particulate Air Pollution Increases
Risk of Heart Attack for Those with Clogged Arteries
2006  (pdf)  

_______________________________________________

Smoke Gets in Your Lungs (pdf)
State of NY, Office of the Attorney General

_______________________________________________

What is Particulate Matter? American Lung Association

_______________________________________________

Woodsmoke Health Effects: A Review (pdf)
clear

_____________________________________________

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Air Quality & Climate Division

© Copyright VT DEC, All Rights Reserved

Vermont Government portal

clear