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Research begins into public perceptions of domestic wood burning in Manchester

The University of Manchester has launched a study in partnership with Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities to better understand the use of log burners and solid fuel fires and their impact on air pollution in the region.

The initiative, funded by a Defra Air Quality Grant, seeks to understand the motivations behind burning solid fuels in homes and gardens, improve community knowledge and influence behaviour and improve public health in Greater Manchester.

Chimney Smoke behind Standing Man

Smoke from log burners, domestic fires and garden bonfires contain tiny particles called particulate matter (PM2.5) that can damage people’s health, increasing the risk of respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and lead to more serious health conditions.

The study – led by The University on behalf of Greater Manchester’s 10 councils – aims to understand the link between household burning practices (indoor and outdoor) and local air quality.

Over the next two years, the research partnership will help inform a public health campaign across the city region to raise awareness around the negative impacts of domestic burning, with the aim to reduce particulate matter emissions through reduced and cleaner burning habits.

Residents of the ten boroughs – whether they currently burn wood domestically –  are invited to take part in an online survey, which will ask questions about people’s domestic burning habits and their perceptions on the implications of burning on the environment and human health.

Lead researcher Dr Emily Matthews, Atmospheric Scientist at The University of Manchester said: ‘You may be surprised to know that even the most efficient stoves still pollute the air inside and outside the home. This study will help us gain valuable insight into how people burn fuels at homes in Greater Manchester.

‘We will use our findings to help raise awareness about the impact burning solid fuel can have on everyone’s health, through targeted campaigns and community engagement. Ultimately, we hope to help reduce emissions from domestic burning and improve our environment for everyone.”

‘We are delighted to be collaborating with The University of Manchester on this initiative. By combining the expertise at the University with our understanding of local needs, we are confident that we can work towards a healthier and more sustainable future for our community.

‘We know in recent years with the cost-of-living crisis that some people have looked for alternative ways to stay warm, especially when the colder weather arrives.

‘But if people do choose to burn this winter, we want them to be aware of the impact it could be having on their health and that of others, the rules in place and what they can do to reduce their impact.”

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Leader of Bury Council and Greater Manchester’s Portfolio Lead for Clean Air said: ‘We are delighted to be collaborating with The University of Manchester on this initiative. By combining the expertise at the University with our understanding of local needs, we are confident that we can work towards a healthier and more sustainable future for our community.

‘We know in recent years with the cost-of-living crisis that some people have looked for alternative ways to stay warm, especially when the colder weather arrives. 

‘But if people do choose to burn this winter, we want them to be aware of the impact it could be having on their health and that of others, the rules in place and what they can do to reduce their impact.’

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chris
chris
4 months ago

Very good, thank you.

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