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Asthma Triggers: Gain Control

Wood Smoke

picture of a wood-burning stove

About wood smoke and asthma

Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contain a mixture of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing these small particles can cause asthma attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lung disease and may increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses. If you're using a wood stove or fireplace and smell smoke in your home, it probably isn't working as it should.

Actions you can take

  • To help reduce smoke, make sure to burn dry wood that has been split, stacked, covered and stored for at least 6 months.
  • Have your stove and chimney inspected every year by a certified professional to make sure there are no gaps, cracks, unwanted drafts or to remove dangerous creosote
  • If possible, replace your old wood stove with a new, cleaner heating appliance. Newer wood stoves are at least 50% more efficient and pollute 70% less than older models.
    This can help make your home healthier and safer and help cut fuel costs.

Additional resources

EPA's Burnwise Program logo
Burnwise: Learn Before You Burn www.epa.gov/burnwise

For more information on wood smoke and health effects, visit: www.epa.gov/burnwise/healtheffects.html and join on Facebook: www.facebook.com/epaburnwise

Environmental Asthma Triggers

For all EPA asthma resources and publications, visit the Publications webpage.

Take the Burnwise Quiz: Do You Burn Wood Wisely?
Breathing small particles from wood smoke can trigger asthma attacks. Take the short, fun quiz to see if you are burning wood safely in your home.

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