Health effects assessment of exposure to particles from wood smoke

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Wood burning devices contribute to outdoor air pollution. Wood smoke consists of, besides the major combustion products carbon dioxide and water, a complex mixture of compounds, including particulate matter (PM), inorganic gases (e.g., carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxides), volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOC), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Particulate matter is itself a complex mixture and can be fractionated as inorganic ash material, soot, and condensed organic material.

The number of residential wood stoves has increased during the latest years. Due to the size distribution of wood smoke particles, essentially all will be contained in the PM2.5 fraction. In Denmark, recent results indicate that about 10,000 tonnes PM2.5 per year, about half of the total particle emission in Denmark, come from residential wood combustion.

Based on a few measurement campaigns conducted in Denmark in selected residential areas with different kinds of heating, the annual average PM2.5 exposure from wood smoke can be estimated at 0.4–2 mg/m3 as a preliminary estimate for the whole Danish population.

Epidemiological studies evaluating adverse health effects from ambient air pollution in relation to residential wood combustion indicate a consistent relationship between PM and increased incidences for different health endpoints. Overall, an increased risk of adverse respiratory health effects was associated with an increase in ambient PM of about 10 mg/m3.

The health impact of PM from wood smoke emissions in Denmark is currently being assessed for mortality, and for hospital admissions for respiratory and cardio-vascular diseases. The results will be presented in the poster.

Copyright © 2007 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue numberS7
Pages (from-to)S120-S120
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event44th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 7 Oct 200710 Oct 2007
Conference number: 44


Conference44th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology
Internet address


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