Recent air quality studies conducted for the Cowichan Valley Regional District have found that particulate matter from wood smoke periodically exceeds air quality objectives. Particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) is of greatest concern because it can travel deep into the lungs and become lodged there causing heart and lung disease and premature death. This is of particular concern for children, the elderly and those individuals with other underlying health issues.
PM2.5 is produced from all types of combustion including wood burning, forest fires and vehicles. Recent studies conducted for the Cowichan Valley have found that 53% of total PM2.5 emissions resulted from open burning, 24% from space heating, 14% from the pulp and paper industry, 6% from mobile sources such as vehicles and 3% from miscellaneous sources.
Click the link to read the Cowichan Valley Regional Districts Airshed Protection Strategy