For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
Stoves May Pose Serious Health Hazards For Children Afflicted
With Asthma, Allergies.
As the holidays and colder weather approach,
many families will gather around fireplaces and wood-burning stoves
to find warmth in the winter months. For many children with asthma
and allergies, the use of these heating devices also may trigger
a health-related disaster, according to an asthma and allergy
expert at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
"There are particles and toxic agents emitted
by burning wood that, when inhaled, may cause shortness of breath
or wheezing and possibly a life-threatening asthma attack that
may require emergency health care," said Dr. Leonard Bielory,
director of the Asthma and Allergy Research Center at the UMDNJ-New
Jersey Medical School in Newark. "Asthmatics and those with severe
allergies react differently when exposed to smoke and other environmental
Dr. Bielory said that emergency room visits
from asthma attacks quadruple following the fall's first frost.
It is typically during this same time of year that people begin
using their fireplaces and stoves.
If you use a fireplace or wood-burning stove,
here are a few suggestions you should follow:
- .Don't allow children with respiratory
conditions, such as asthma, to be exposed to a fireplace for
very long and make certain there is adequate ventilation to
offset any smoke that is emitted.
- .Avoid using a chemical accelerant, like
kerosene, to ignite the fire.
- .Have your chimney cleaned annually to
help prevent fumes from backing into the house. A good home
ventilating system and a properly maintained fireplace or wood-burning
stove will minimize the dangers of the pollutants.
- .Be certain the room is aired out and dust
and vacuum the area thoroughly after it has been used.
- .Don't use a fireplace or wood-burning
stove as the only source of heat.