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Tasmania puts forestry before Health
with its deliberate pernicious planned burn smoke since 1960.
We are fighting for our lives because of environmental smoke pollution.
This site has gone global, please visit BurningIssues.org
And join the new world wide
Coalition Against Wood Burning.
per·ni·cious [par níshass] adj.
causing serious harm: causing great harm, destruction, or death.
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2004 Microsoft Corporation.
All rights reserved.
Forestry blame wood heaters for causing all the
In 2008 the total particle emissions to the Tasmanian airshed from heavy-fuel forestry
industry planned burns alone, is estimated to have been in the range of 86,000 to 120, 000
tonnes of particles after consuming 7.2 million tonnes of wood - EPA Division Tasmania
To bring this into perspective, 86,000 to 120,000 tonnes
of particles corresponds to somewhere between the particles released into our airshed from
6.45 trillion and 9.15 trillion cigarettes.
"In 2008 forest industry planned
burns were likely to have contributed to the Tasmanian airshed between seventeen and twenty four times
the particle pollution produced by domestic wood heaters (86,000 to 122,000 tonnes from
planned forest burns compared to 5,000 tonnes from domestic heaters)." - EPA.
Read the full report and see the pie
Pollution figures were officially
This is an estimate of particle emissions to the Tasmanian airshed for 2008.
The figures will vary from year to year for a number of reasons.
This does not provide any information on population exposure but it was known to be
Deliberately lit forestry fires (planned burns/logging
burns/regeneration burns/ plantation burns) what ever they like to call them produce these
large quantities of smoke across Tasmania, Australia which people are forced to breathe.
clearing should not mean planned burning.
Alternatives to burning are now encouraged because they have less impact on air
quality and are more environmentally sustainable. (Aust. Govt. Dept. of Environment
-Smoke from Biomass Burning).
This smoke is causing misery to many people in the short term,
and the long term effects on the whole Tasmanian population are huge.
Tobacco smoke is burning
vegetation. Forestry smoke is burning
Millions of dollars are spent annually educating people about the harmful
effects of cigarette smoke and yet Tasmanians are being made to 'smoke' this forestry
The major toxic component of tobacco smoke is particulate matter. So, is it ok to be
smothered in forestry smoke but deadly to inhale cigarette smoke?
A study for the US EPA, using
tumour initiation tests on mice and Ames tests on bacteria,
concluded that woodsmoke was in fact 12 times as mutagenic (likely to cause cancer)
as the same quantity of tobacco smoke.
Burning solid fuel yields particulate pollution - solid particles smaller than a red
blood cell which have been implicated in 2.1 million deaths world wide per
year. . "Particulate pollution is the most important contaminant in our
air. ...we know that when particle levels go up, people die1. "
Indeed, wood smoke is chemically active in the body 40 times longer than tobacco2.
1. Joel Schwartz, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, E Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2002
2. Wm. A Pryor, Persistent Free Radicals in Woodsmoke: An ESR Spin Trapping Study, Free
Radical Biology and Medicine 1989, 7(1): 17-21
Particulate Matter Mortality
"Based on reviews of the latest scientific literature, the Air Resources Board staff
has concluded that particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) is much more toxic
than previously estimated. New research suggests that even small increases in exposure
increase the potential for earlier deaths." (CEPA - California
Environmental Protection Agency)
BEWARE: This smoke is damaging you and your family's
health and our environment.
Our Health Department and Environment Division should be especially concerned
about small-particle pollution.
The tiniest particles can penetrate past the body's immune defences, travelling deep into
and the bloodstream causing all sorts of other health problems you would never think had
come from this toxic smoke.
Clean air is one of our most precious
resources, essential for our survival and quality of life.
Note: When visiting a link, always use your back arrow to return to this site.
If you are a non-smoker, then why are
you being made to inhale forestry's harmful smoke?
If a cigarette smoker, backyard burner, or
domestic wood heater owner blew smoke into peoples faces they would be fined. Why
then are forestry treated any differently? Michelle OByrne MP Minister for
Environment, and our Environment Protection Authority (EPA) need to start going after the
big fish instead of, I believe, protecting them.
Forestry are not even interested in the tons of wood
they burn or the tons of smoke they release.
From information released under Freedom of Information:-
Between the 28/3/2008 and 4/7/2008 Forestry Tasmania conducted 536 planned burns.
Between the 28/3/2008 and 4/7/2008 the private forests conducted 450 planned burns.
Some of these burns lasted for days and smouldered much longer.
There are other smokeless methods available to forestry to get rid of their rubbish.
Our health does not fit in with forestry's polluting timetable.
The lifetime of PM 2.5 particle
pollution is from days to weeks and their travel distance ranges from 100 to greater than
1000 kilometres (NRDC, 2000)
The dust storms from central Australia in 2009 had PM10's travel
over 2000Km, and yet our forest industries deliberately burn large numbers of the more
damaging PM2.5 smoky fires a short distance upwind of populated areas in our small state
(see satelite image below).
12/5/2009 - Launceston, a city of over 100,000 people, inhaled smoke from
this deliberate act of planned burning and yet it barely recorded on the fixed air
smoke causes distress, and can eventually cause death.
For this reason there can be no more deals or compromises being done to allow forestry
planned burns to continue.
When it comes to Tasmanian's health this should be non negotiable.
elderly, newborns, children, adults who exercise rigorously and those with existing heart
and lung disease are most at risk for premature death due to particle pollution exposure.
(American Lung Association, "The Perils of Particulates")
Seeing an average adult breathes 11,000 litres of air a day (7-8
litres a minute) fine particle pollution from the smoke of burnt logging rubbish, poses a
significant health threat for some of our most valuable and vulnerable people in our
community. Children, adolescents, seniors, people with asthma and chronic lung diseases,
people with chronic heart disease and diabetics are most at risk, but this effects you
Foetuses and young children are more vulnerable for several reasons: Their
biological defence mechanisms are still forming, and they can not detoxify harmful
substances and repair damage the way adults can. Children breathe 20-50% more air when
playing outside, ie, more air than adults on a pound-for-pound basis. They spend more time
in general outside and are unable to recognize warning signs during polluted days like
headaches and shortness of breath - signs that would drive adults to try and avoid the
This mainstream smoke leaves toxic particulate residue which clings to hair,
clothing and bedding and has been found to be dangerous to children. The
residue includes toxins and carcinogens that young children can get on their hands and
ingest, especially if theyre crawling or playing on the floor, or near any soft
furnishings. It can set off a serious asthma attack for what appears to be no apparent
Asthma is the most common reason for trips to the emergency department and for hospital
stays. Its also one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor, and the
number one cause of school absenteeism.
Our children in particular should not be subjected to this pollution.
If you can smell smoke it means you are breathing it.
exposed to smoke in early childhood, have a higher risk of developing childhood asthma.
Asthma cannot be cured."(Asthma Foundations Australia).
Tasmania has the highest rate of asthma in Australia. Out of a population of
500,000 there are 65,000 with asthma (this does not include other lung conditions like
COPD, bronchitis, etc.) and there are 15,000 children with the disease.
Asthma in particular has become a major epidemic and has been linked to poor air quality.
Air containing large amounts of particulate matter as well as high ozone levels can
trigger asthma attacks and COPD lung attacks.
attacks cause lasting damage--the patient's lung function will never be the same again.
"COPD attacks are not just a symptom of COPD, they actually cause the disease to
progress" - Dr. Bourbeau, Canadian Thoracic Society 2/2010.
'Smoke management' means stopping
the smoke at the source.
Not putting our people on drugs while the smoke
residents and visitors expect a clean and healthy environment.
The Hobart City Council has designated some smoke free public places to make the
city a cleaner and healthier place to live and visit.
This smoke is so bad the forest
industries have agreed to hide it when tourists come to the state.
"Burning will be managed to minimise the risk of adverse impact on
significant tourism events or in major holiday periods such as Easter." - Good
Neighbour Charter for Commercial Forestry in Tasmania 2008
Our government has had years to fix this harmful pollution.
They know Tasmania has the highest incidence of asthma in Australia (Asthma Foundation),
and they know 3 out of 4 people have a chronic health condition like cancer,
cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes, that prevents them from working. (Health
Minister statement to Damien Brown-Mercury 2/12/2009). All these diseases have been linked
in world wide studies to particulate matter.
It is a
basic human right to be able to breathe clean air and to go outside as you wish.
Why should we be forced into our 'shelters' while forestry fire bomb us from outside.
"The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon
preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants
and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air." - Earth Charter
Many credible scientific studies link air pollution to sickness, diseases, and
death in humans and in animals.
Air pollution is the hidden cause of deaths that
were previously attributed to other causes - Californian Environmental Protection
Please read this article before you turn the
Linked to Deep Vein Thrombosis and Blood Clots
"The Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004 provides a
framework for the management and regulation of both point and diffuse sources of emissions
to air for pollutants with the potential to cause environmental harm. The Policy was made
on 13 December 2004 and came into effect on 1 June 2005.
The environmental values to be protected under the Air Quality Policy are:
the life, health and well-being of
the life, health and well-being of
other forms of life
This is not what is happening.
smoke to the EPA.
If you consider our smoke pollution a health worry
seek medical treatment first.
Call the EPA on:
1800 005 171 (24 hours / 7 days a week) for all
pollution and environmental incidents and lodge a complaint.
EPA email reporting:
Emails are attended to during office hours Monday to Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm.
And then call the Public & Environmental Health Service on:
1800 671 738 (24 Hours a day/7 Days a week) and lodge a
complaint. You may be asked to email your complaint to: email@example.com
Environmental smoke is a serious environmental health matter. DHHS are not
just a health referral agency.
DHHS cannot refuse to deal with your health complaint.
These good people might refuse to take your complaint. Stand
In all cases ask for your complaint to be recorded, ask for it to be investigated, ask for
the result of the investigation to be forwarded to you at the earliest opportunity, and
ask what they intend to do about it.
*** OPERATION SMOKE WATCH ***
A smoke watch trial is being conducted in Northern Tasmania with regards to environmental
Tell cleanairtas where it is coming from. Email the details, ie, date, time, duration of
burn, wind direction, and any photos, etc., to cleanairtas.
Thank you for your participation. It is YOUR health, your LIFE.
Do this every day smoke annoys or worries you.
Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation
of material for this website,
we do not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions nor for
the result of actions taken on the basis of this information.
Note: The word "forestry" refers to the forestry industry, not just to Forestry
How to deal with troublesome wood smoke: http://woodburnersmoke.net
If you, or anybody else that you know of, are suffering or have
concerns about this deliberate pernicious smoke
please contact: Mrs. Angelika Allen at RSD Patersonia Rd., Patersonia, Tasmania.
7259. Ph: 6399 3345.
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