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Sales of coal and wet wood for household fires to be phased out over health fears

COAL and wet wood for burning in household stoves and open fires will be phased out from next year, the government has said.

The phased ban aims to reduce tiny particle pollutants known as PM2.5, which can penetrate deep into lungs and the blood and cause serious health problems.

Wood-burning stoves and coal fires are the largest source of PM2.5, contributing three times as much of the pollution as road transport, the Environment Department (Defra) said.

Defra added that the phasing out of the fuels from 2021 to 2023 will give householders and suppliers time to move to cleaner alternatives such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels.

British Heart Foundation’s John Maingay said that the charity welcomed the move but that it is also “critical” to tackle other sources of emissions such as road traffic.

He added: “Our research has shown that toxic PM2.5 can enter the bloodstream and damage our heart and circulatory system, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
 
“Air pollution is a major public-health challenge, and it requires an urgent and bold response.”

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