SW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said wood heaters are so detrimental to health she supports banning and phasing them out in built-up urban areas. The NSW Asthma Foundation warned that: wood smoke emissions in winter pose a bigger health danger in built up urban areas than cars or cigarettes. Australian Lung Foundation spokesman Dr James Markos said wood fire heaters should be banned from urban areas. He said real-life emissions from new wood-heaters have little relationship to measurements from a perfectly operated test model under laboratory conditions.
There are major flaws in the current standard-setting process because changes cannot be made without the approval of the wood heating industry.
We therefore urge the 15 Dec 2015 Australian Environment Ministers' Meeting to:
1) reject the current flawed "standards" set by the wood heating industry
2) set up a committee of health and epidemiological experts to find the best possible solution to the current $20 billion health costs of wood heater pollution.
3) endorse a National Clean Air Agreement, with appropriate support and leadership, to implement $3.6 billion savings from other pollution measures* that together would allow Australia to implement a 6 ug/m3 PM2.5 standard and avoid 700 premature deaths per year
4) investigate other cost-effective ways to reduce pollution and health costs, many of which will also reduce global warming from lower methane and black carbon emissions.