Residents urged not to light polluting bonfires during coronavirus crisis

Residents in Bath have been asked not to start bonfires during the coronavirus pandemic to protect the respiratory health of the vulnerable.

With the majority of people now working from home, some will be tempted to light bonfires for garden waste due to the suspension of waste collections. However, Bath & North East Somerset Council says people must consider the health of others during these unique times. 

As coronavirus is a respiratory disease the authority has warned that people’s breathing could be worsened due to smoke inhalation.

Cllr Dine Romero, council leader, said: ‘As we’ve seen through the Compassionate Communities hub to help our most vulnerable residents, there are strong communities in Bath and North East Somerset that are pulling together to support each other through this pandemic.

‘We’re asking if people could also support their neighbours by not lighting bonfires while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Smoke can pose a risk to people’s health, so avoiding fires will reduce the chance of people having their airways affected and avoid further burden on the NHS.

‘We appreciate that it’s inconvenient for residents that garden waste collections have been paused so we can continue to provide essential services, but I hope people can work with us on this and please hold onto their garden waste until we are able to start collecting it again.’

Since the coronavirus lockdown began last Monday there have been large drops in transport-related nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in cities across the UK. However, some areas such as Bromley in London have seen increases in fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which councillors there believe is due to an increase in garden bonfires.

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