This section includes an overview of some issues concerning popular types of wood-burning devices, including a discussion of changeouts that encourage replacing older wood stoves with new ones.
All wood burning emits health-damaging particulates and toxins, even when it is done in a modern, certified device with dry wood.
Evidence shows that certified wood stoves are more polluting in real-world conditions than their laboratory-based certification values suggest. Certified wood stoves can also emit even higher levels of some carcinogens, such as dioxins and the PAH benzo(a)pyrene, as well as more ultrafine particles, than older stoves.
Extremely polluting wood boilers are also a serious problem in many areas, exposing nearby residents to shockingly high levels of air pollution.
Backyard fire pits, fireplaces, chimeneas and meat smokers are also becoming increasingly popular. These recreational devices emit large amounts of hazardous wood smoke pollution, exposing nearby neighbors to harm and reducing their quality of life.
Note: For information on how much residential wood burning contributes to overall emissions in communities, please see our Wood Smoke Is Particle Pollution page.