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Welcome to Yolo Clean Air...
Yolo Clean Air is a California non-profit organization
formed as a 501(c)3 corporation for public and charitable purposes. We are located in Davis, California on the
southern edge of Yolo County, about 20 miles west of Sacramento.
Our Mission - A Commitment to Clean, Breathable Air!
Our Mission is solely focused on improving air quality for the benefit of environmentally sensitive
and susceptible individuals suffering from respiratory health problems -
particularly children and seniors. We seek to identify and then provide the most practical, minimally-disruptive, and
cost-effective solutions for the most pressing air quality problems facing Yolo
Co today and into the future. By focusing first and foremost on human health needs,
we thoroughly research issues to completely understand the root causes of the
many different types of air pollution. We then propose attainable solutions by
merging the merits of consumer education and/or public behavioral changes with
science-based, technology. In doing so, we seek to create
near-term, sustainable environment changes that benefit the entire Yolo County
community without causing economic harm.
Join Our Current Flagship Campaign...Reducing Wintertime
Particulate Pollution by up to 50% by Ending the Use of Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Frequent asthma attacks, recurring bronchitis that won't go away,
respiratory failures leading to hospitalization, children needing inhalers just
to get through the school day...these incidents are becoming common, everyday occurrences in the
Sacramento and San
Joaquin Valleys from Redding to Bakersfield.
We know that particulate matter in air pollution causes or can induce these respiratory problems especially in our susceptible populations -
seniors and children And we know that
residential wood burning in the winter months with stagnant weather can increase particulate matter in
neighborhood air to well
above Federal air quality standards.
Reducing this excessive pollution produced by
residential wood-burning fireplaces and appliances is just one area in which simple
behavioral changes (i.e. not using wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, or inserts) can
dramatically reduce airborne pollution without changing the real quality of life
in our region . Indeed, the Sacramento Air Quality
Management District estimates that 50% or more of wintertime particulate
pollution is caused by wood smoke from residential wood-burning.
Since it has been clearly established by many that using natural gas or electricity is a more
economical choice than burning purchased firewood to provide home heat, curtailing the use of residential wood-burning
for home heating in urban areas would not cause any economic harm to the vast
majority of consumers. And the social benefits in terms of decreased acute care health costs
during winter months could be enormous.
Restricting the use of wood-burning for home-heating may seem to be a radical solution to some homeowners and, having loved our
own fireplaces in the not too distant past, we do understand the warm feeling
that everybody gets when they think of cozy evenings in front of a blazing fire
when there is a real chill outside. Unfortunately, that same warm fire everyone
enjoys so much inside is also dumping pounds of toxic particulate pollutants into the
immediate neighborhood outside air and choking residents with respiratory problems for
blocks around. We simply believe that the respiratory health of all of our seniors and
youth is too great of a sacrifice to make for the sake of a little ambiance or
short-term enjoyment one gets
from their wood-burning fireplaces and stoves.
Note that we are NOT advocating restrictions against the use of any natural gas
or propane-fueled fireplaces or heaters as they produce only a very small
fraction of the pollution produced by their wood-burning counterparts. We
also support exceptions for wood-burning appliances designed and used solely for cooking
and where there is no
other home heating alternative economically available.
Please read more about this growing air quality problem in our website and join
us to make the air cleaner for all residents of Yolo Co. At minimum, think a
little more about it before you light up your woodstove or fireplace on the next quiet, frosty
evening. Please make sure there is a wind speed of at least 6 mph or more (the
tree branches should be swaying) to properly disperse the smoke. Otherwise, the warm and comfortable feeling you get by lounging in front of your
toasty fireplace may not be shared by the poor kid from 2 blocks away that can barely breathe
because of an acute
asthma attack induced by your pollution.
Alan Pryor, Director
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