Excessive use of wood burning stoves while working from home leads to poor air quality
Heating our homes with wood burning stoves could be worse than both traffic pollution and oil-based heating for air quality, according to the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. The increase in working from home contributes negatively.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to better air quality in Europe, even though there are differences between the european countries. This is a result of less traffic, fewer flights and closed factories.
But when it comes to particle pollution, the trend is different. Some countries have seen an increase in this type of pollution. The main source of this pollution is road dust and the degredation of tires and brakes, or the use of studded tyres.
The fact that we're working from home while using wood burning ovens also leads to poor air quality in Norway, according to research director Cristina Guerreiro at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, NILU.
– I forhold til luftkvalitet og utslipp av fint svevestøv så er vedfyring – selv med de beste ovnene som fins på markedet – mye verre enn oljefyring. Så der kan hele gevinsten av reduserte trafikkutslipp i forhold til helse bli helt borte. Vi kan til og med totalt få en negativ effekt av at folk sitter hjemme istedenfor å gå på jobb, sier hun til NRK.
"Burning wood is much worse for air quality and the release of small particles than heating oil, even if you use the most effective wood burning stoves on the market. This could negate the entire benefit that reduced emissions from traffic has on our health. We may even get a net negative effect from people sitting at home instead of going to work, Guerreiro says to NRK.
Translated by: Eivind Nicolai Lauritsen