Wood smoke pollution is killing Australians - and the evidence for this continues to grow. A new study published in the Medical Journal of Australia (15 Jan 2024) finds an estimated 11- 63 people in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) die annually from wood heater smoke. This follows from a study in the UK published (late 2023) - the London Wood Burning Project that found an estimated 284 Londoners die early each year due to air pollution from solid fuel heating. The study, as reported in the Guardian UK also estimated that about 90 new cases of asthma in children, 60 new cases of stroke and 30 new lung cancer cases a year were linked to this pollution. The evidence for the harms of wood smoke is crystal clear. A browse of the scientific studies catalogued by health and advocacy groups highlights how long we have known, and how little has been done. The ACT has committed to phasing out wood heating by 2045. Why wait so long when wood heater smoke is clearly killing us? It is time we listened to the science and those that know that science well. We need a national phase out and we need it now.
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