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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.

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Presentation on theme: "Hazards and Effects on Respiratory Health of Backyard Burning Theodore W. Marcy, MD MPH Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine University of Vermont."— Presentation transcript:

1 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

2 Outline of Discussion Lung function, anatomy and inhaled toxinsLung function, anatomy and inhaled toxins Characteristics of the emissions from backyard burning of trashCharacteristics of the emissions from backyard burning of trash –Contents –Quantity compared to other emissions Health HazardsHealth Hazards –In normals –In vulnerable populations

3 Function of the Respiratory System Gas exchangeGas exchange –Eliminate CO2 –Transfer Oxygen to blood To accomplish thisTo accomplish this –Gas exchange organ (lung) –Respiratory pump to move air in and out

4 Anatomy of the Lung and Alveoli Location of Gas Exchange

5 Interaction of Lung with Environment Volume of air we breath per day = 10,000 LitersVolume of air we breath per day = 10,000 Liters Surface area of lung = Squash courtSurface area of lung = Squash court Lung defenseLung 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)

6 What Particles Get to the Alveoli? Particles of most importance are less than 10 microns in diameter (RBC is 5 microns) PM 10

7 Air Pollution and Health An increase in PM 10 by 10 g/m 3 associated with a 0.5% increase in death rate from all causesAn increase in PM 10 by 10 g/m 3 associated with a 0.5% increase in death rate from all causes An increase in PM 10 by 10 g /m 3 associated with an 8-18% increase in cardiovascular causes of deathAn increase in PM 10 by 10 g /m 3 associated with an 8-18% increase in cardiovascular causes of death Ban on coal sales in Dublin associated with aBan 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

8 Wood Burning Campfires Woodstoves for home heating Incineration of cleared brush and trees

9 Wood Burning 100 different chemicals100 different chemicals –Carbon monoxide –Nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide –Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons –Large amount of PM 10 particulates Pollution from 1 home heated by wood for 1yr equalsPollution from 1 home heated by wood for 1yr equals –400 homes heated by oil or natural gas –1 car driving 130,000 miles Burning 20 lbs of wood puts 1 lb of pollution in the air

10 Backyard 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

11 Emissions from Backyard Burning Lead Arsenic Mercury Barium Chromium Cadmium Fine particulate matterFine particulate matter Carbon monoxideCarbon monoxide Carbon dioxideCarbon dioxide Sulfur dioxideSulfur dioxide Dioxins and FuransDioxins and Furans PAHs and PCBsPAHs and PCBs

12 Comments on Some Emissions Carbon monoxideCarbon monoxide –Binds to hemoglobin, reducing oxygen delivery Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) –Contribute to ground level ozone pollution (smog) –Aggravate respiratory and heart conditions –Some (PAHs) are carcinogenic HexachlorobenzeneHexachlorobenzene –Birth defects –Kidney and liver damage BenzopyreneBenzopyrene –Suspected cause of lung cancer

13 Health Consequences Upper airway irritationUpper airway irritation Neurologic symptoms (headache, fatigue)Neurologic symptoms (headache, fatigue) Acute respiratory symptoms (shortness of breathAcute respiratory symptoms (shortness of breath Asthma and chronic lung disease exacerbationsAsthma and chronic lung disease exacerbations Acute cardiac eventsAcute cardiac events Cancers (long term exposures)Cancers (long term exposures) HospitalizationsHospitalizations Increased deathsIncreased deaths

14 Emissions from burn barrels in the US (lbs./year) benzene4,500,000 styrene3,400,000 formaldehyde3,100,000 dioxins 139 furans 22 PCB 10,962 hydrogen cyanide1,700,000 arsenic 8,186

15 Municipal Waste Combustor (MWC) vs Barrel Burning 2,200 F 500 F

16 EPA Evaluation of Emissions from Barrel Burning: Lemieux EPA 1998 Purpose: Risk assessmentPurpose: 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 householdsWaste from non-recycling and avid recycling households –Burned in test facility –Extractive samples analyzed Compared to emissions from MWC field testCompared to emissions from MWC field test

17 Household Burning vs MWC Household family of 4 Non-recyclingNon-recycling –4.9 kg/day –62% paper products – 8% plastic resin Avid-recyclingAvid-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

18 Emissions per Mass of Refuse MWC vs Open Burning

19 How many barrel burning homes equals the pollution from a MWC? Lemieux EPA March 1998 Daily MWC estimated emission Daily estimated emissions from households #households that equal a MWC =

20 Vulnerable Populations Asthma in VermontAsthma in Vermont –41,000 adults –13,000 children Chronic lung diseaseChronic lung disease – 7,000 with emphysema –26,000 with chronic bronchitis ChildrenChildren –Absorb more toxins per weight than adults –Second hand smoke increases respiratory tract infections, asthma, sudden infant death syndrome

21 Vermont State Regulations on Open Burning Allowed (if not prohibited by local ordinances)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 burnIllegal to burn –Paper and cardboard –Tires and other rubber products –Treated, painted, or finished wood –Tarpaper or asphalt shingles –Plastics –Garbage

22 Backyard Burning in Vermont 18,000 households18,000 households 28 million pounds of trash annually28 million pounds of trash annually The Herald of Randolph, VT 11/30/00

23 Opinions Regarding Burn Barrels 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

24 Alternatives to Backyard Burning RecycleRecycle –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


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