Huntington Beach, CA, June 14th, 2018
While the smell of burning wood is pleasant to many, exposure to wood smoke can cause health concerns. In the work environment, there are numerous occupations across California in industries that burn wood for heat, to produce energy, or for cooking that expose employees to wood smoke. Many of these workers are exposed to varying levels of wood smoke on the job every day.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the smoke from wood burning is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles (also referred to as particle pollution, particulate matter or PM). In addition to particle pollution, wood smoke contains several harmful air pollutants; these include benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Carbon monoxide is also produced during the burning of wood. The agency states that wood smoke can affect everyone, but children, teenagers, older adults, people with lung diseases, including asthma and COPD, or people with heart disease are the most vulnerable.
“Short-term exposure to particles from wood smoke can aggravate lung disease, causing asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and may also increase one’s susceptibility to respiratory infections according to the EPA,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Long-term exposure has been associated with problems such as reduced lung function and the development of chronic bronchitis. Some studies also suggest that long-term PM 2.5 exposures may be linked to cancer and to harmful developmental and reproductive effects.”
To help identify exposure issues associated with wood smoke in occupational and residential environments, LA Testing offers analytical services, sampling supplies and air monitoring instruments. The air testing experts also recently sponsored an educational video about wood smoke exposure and health concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/zGmtRju65oY.
To learn more about smoke or other indoor air quality, environmental or occupational testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.