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Hazards and Effects on Respiratory Health of Backyard Burning. Theodore W. Marcy, MD MPH Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine University of Vermont College of Medicine American Lung Association of Vermont. Outline of Discussion. Lung function, anatomy and inhaled toxins

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Hazards and effects on respiratory health of backyard burning

Hazards and Effects on Respiratory Health of Backyard Burning

Theodore W. Marcy, MD MPH

Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine

University of Vermont College of Medicine

American Lung Association of Vermont


Outline of discussion
Outline of Discussion Burning

  • Lung function, anatomy and inhaled toxins

  • Characteristics of the emissions from backyard burning of trash

    • Contents

    • Quantity compared to other emissions

  • Health Hazards

    • In normals

    • In vulnerable populations


Function of the respiratory system
Function of the Respiratory System Burning

  • Gas exchange

    • Eliminate CO2

    • Transfer Oxygen to blood

  • To accomplish this

    • Gas exchange organ (lung)

    • Respiratory pump to move air in and out


Anatomy of the lung and alveoli location of gas exchange
Anatomy of the Lung and Alveoli BurningLocation of Gas Exchange


Interaction of lung with environment
Interaction of Lung with Environment Burning

  • Volume of air we breath per day = 10,000 Liters

  • Surface area of lung = Squash court

  • Lung defense

    • Filtering by nose and upper airway

    • Impact of particles at branching airways

    • Particles removed by mucociliary escalator and swallowed or coughed out

    • Other foreign particles cleared by resident cells of the defense system (macrophages)


What particles get to the alveoli
What Particles Get to the Alveoli? Burning

Particles of most importance are less than 10 microns in diameter (RBC is 5 microns)

PM10


Air pollution and health
Air Pollution and Health Burning

  • An increase in PM10 by 10 g/m3 associated with a 0.5% increase in death rate from all causes

  • An increase in PM10 by 10 g /m3 associated with an 8-18% increase in cardiovascular causes of death

  • Ban on coal sales in Dublin associated with a

    • Decrease in air pollution

    • 6% decrease in non-trauma death rates

    • 10% decrease in cardiovascular death rates

    • 16% decrease in respiratory death rates


Wood burning
Wood Burning Burning

  • Campfires

  • Woodstoves for home heating

  • Incineration of cleared brush and trees


Wood burning1
Wood Burning Burning

Burning 20 lbs of woodputs1 lb of pollution in the air

  • 100 different chemicals

    • Carbon monoxide

    • Nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide

    • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    • Large amount of PM10 particulates

  • Pollution from 1 home heated by wood for 1yr equals

    • 400 homes heated by oil or natural gas

    • 1 car driving 130,000 miles


Backyard burning
Backyard Burning Burning

  • Used as low cost method of trash disposal

  • Trash is NOT just wood, paper and yard waste

  • Trash consists of plastics, synthetics, other chemicals

  • Low temperature burning (500) leads to incomplete combustion

  • Emissions highly concentrated and “in your face”


Emissions from backyard burning

Lead Burning

Arsenic

Mercury

Barium

Chromium

Cadmium

Fine particulate matter

Carbon monoxide

Carbon dioxide

Sulfur dioxide

Dioxins and Furans

PAHs and PCBs

Emissions from Backyard Burning


Comments on some emissions
Comments on Some Emissions Burning

  • Carbon monoxide

    • Binds to hemoglobin, reducing oxygen delivery

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

    • Contribute to ground level ozone pollution (smog)

    • Aggravate respiratory and heart conditions

    • Some (PAHs) are carcinogenic

  • Hexachlorobenzene

    • Birth defects

    • Kidney and liver damage

  • Benzopyrene

    • Suspected cause of lung cancer


Health consequences
Health Consequences Burning

  • Upper airway irritation

  • Neurologic symptoms (headache, fatigue)

  • Acute respiratory symptoms (shortness of breath

  • Asthma and chronic lung disease exacerbations

  • Acute cardiac events

  • Cancers (long term exposures)

  • Hospitalizations

  • Increased deaths


Emissions from burn barrels in the us lbs year
Emissions from burn barrels in the US (lbs./year) Burning

benzene 4,500,000

styrene 3,400,000

formaldehyde 3,100,000

dioxins 139

furans 22

PCB 10,962

hydrogen cyanide 1,700,000

arsenic 8,186



Epa evaluation of emissions from barrel burning lemieux epa 1998
EPA Evaluation of Emissions from Barrel Burning: Lemieux EPA 1998

  • Purpose: Risk assessment

    • Qualitative identification and quantitative measure of emissions from open burning of household refuse

    • Comparison to other point and area sources

  • Waste from non-recycling and avid recycling households

    • Burned in test facility

    • Extractive samples analyzed

  • Compared to emissions from MWC field test


Household burning vs mwc

Household family of 4 1998

Non-recycling

4.9 kg/day

62% paper products

8% plastic resin

Avid-recycling

1.5 kg/day

62% paperboard

16% plastic resin

MWC

182,000 kg/day

37,000 non-recycling households or

121,000 recycling households

Household Burning vs MWC


Emissions per mass of refuse mwc vs open burning
Emissions per Mass of Refuse 1998MWC vs Open Burning


How many barrel burning homes equals the pollution from a mwc
How many barrel burning homes equals the pollution from a MWC?

Daily MWC estimated emission

Daily estimated emissions from households

#households that

equal a MWC

=

Lemieux EPA March 1998


Vulnerable populations
Vulnerable Populations MWC?

  • Asthma in Vermont

    • 41,000 adults

    • 13,000 children

  • Chronic lung disease

    • 7,000 with emphysema

    • 26,000 with chronic bronchitis

  • Children

    • Absorb more toxins per weight than adults

    • Second hand smoke increases respiratory tract infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome


Vermont state regulations on open burning
Vermont State Regulations on Open Burning MWC?

  • Allowed (if not prohibited by local ordinances)

    • Campfires and outdoor barbecues

    • Burning of leaves, brush, deadwood, tree cuttings

    • Natural wood bonfires on festive occasions

  • Illegal to burn

    • Paper and cardboard

    • Tires and other rubber products

    • Treated, painted, or finished wood

    • Tarpaper or asphalt shingles

    • Plastics

    • Garbage


Backyard burning in vermont
Backyard Burning in Vermont MWC?

  • 18,000 households

  • 28 million pounds of trash annually

The Herald of Randolph, VT 11/30/00


Opinions regarding burn barrels
Opinions Regarding Burn Barrels MWC?

  • 28% burn household garbage and other materials (in burn barrel or other device)

    Of those that burn household garbage

  • 45% burn garbage because it is convenient

  • 32% believe they are reducing waste

  • 35% said that nothing would cause them to stop this practice

  • 34% (ironically) believe there is not enough concern about the environment

Survey in Minnesota and Wisconsin

From ALA of Wisconsin


Alternatives to backyard burning

Recycle MWC?

Newspaper

Used oil

Plastic bottles

Magazines

Cans

Glass

Cardboard

Office paper

Compost

Yard wastes

Vegetable Scraps

Reuse

Clothes

Donate to charity

Buy smart

Avoid unnecessary packing

Alternatives to Backyard Burning


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