Residential Woodsmoke Reduction
Many of California's Air Quality Management and Air Pollution Control Districts (AQMDs and APCDs) have established incentive programs to replace older inefficient appliances and fireplaces with newer appliances and inserts that burn cleaner and use less fuel, resulting in lower PM2.5 emissions as well as decreasing fuel costs for the consumer.
The smoke from wood burning is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles (also called particulate pollution, particulate matter, or PM). Woodsmoke also contains several harmful air pollutants including: benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The health effects of smoke range from eye and respiratory tract irritation to more serious effects, including reduced lung function, bronchitis, asthma complications, harmful birth outcomes such as low birth weight, increased impacts on the heart, and premature death. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Public Health examined the health impacts of a program that required the reduction of residential wood burning when air quality was forecast to be poor. This study concluded that the resulting decrease in both fine and coarse particulate matter led to decreased hospitalization for cardiovascular disease, particularly in rural areas.