health risks of gas fireplaces


Health Canada is warning consumers of certain natural gas and propane fireplaces manufactured by Security Fireplace that may pose safety risks to consumers. However, some combustion heating devices may be unvented (e.g., kerosene- and propane-fueled space heaters, some gas-fueled log sets, and cooking devices used improperly for heating), and the use of such unvented devices in closed settings may be associated with risks … Think about a child’s room being heated with gas, especially if that child already has asthma. Just like real burning logs, both types of gas logs produce carbon monoxide — a toxic gas that can be lethal — when they burn. Fire. Countless instances of carbon monoxide deaths exist as a … One of the less advertised gases that can be dangerous to your home is water vapor. Gas burns cleaner than wood, but it can still deposit substances corrosive to your chimney. The toddler had scampered up to the gas fireplace in the family’s Spokane, Wash., home and touched the scalding hot glass. Venting and proper use of a gas fireplace can help keep CO at a safe level. When burning gas, several by-products of combustion are produced that can be dangerous to your health. Still, too many homeowners covet the low installation and operating cost and only want to use their fireplace on a limited basis. According to SFGate, 36 percent of new homes built in the 1970s had fireplaces. Cleveland Clinic © 1995-2020. So do we!) ant to avoid gassing those you love? David Wimberly of the Natural Gas Health Information Coalition N.S. ===== #61: Not told about health cautions Date: Wednesday, January 4, 2006. ALERT: Be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide spillage in your home when you are using a gas- or wood-burning fireplace. Home DIY Project? Overheating of the appliance or a gas leak can trigger a fire. These units put off so few fumes that venting to the outside is not necessary. “If someone living in your home has a history of lung disease, such as asthma, try to avoid using of wood-burning fireplaces and wood-burning stoves,” says Dr. Cain. Risks of Chimney or Fireplace Mold Mold Is a Health Hazard. Induction stoves, on the other hand, emit very strong EMFs. Maybe we can help with choosing a vented replacement, though. Beyond CO poisoning, another concern with ventless gas fireplaces is water vapor. They can, however, have various adverse effects on our health. For all the enjoyment a wood-burning fireplace can bring to a home, it also can bring some health risks if not operated properly. 99 percent of the heat that they emit is … Natural Vent gas fireplaces (B-Vent) use air from within the home for combustion and release emissions outside the home. Learn more about the different types of fireplace venting. It can cause all sorts of health problems ranging from mild headaches to death. But these units include a special regulator that creates a unique mix of gas and indoor air to assure a clean-burning process. Burn dry wood that has been split, covered and stored for at least six months. Fire is beautiful to look at, but the byproducts of fire are not good for people or animals. Using a ventless catalytic propane heater to warm your home is a dangerous proposition. “They put out tons of heat and they’re 100 percent efficient, but they use oxygen in the room and put out carbon monoxide, and they smell terrible,” says Bill Yeager, owner of Yeager Gas Fireplace Service in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Oxygen Depletion. Gas fireplace inserts can be used in masonry or prefab fireplaces; they can be vented through the existing chimney (or a wall for a free-standing unit). This post discusses why natural gas and propane are major health risks, what leading detox experts are saying — as well as how to proceed: how best to cook our food, ... fireplaces, hot water heaters, furnaces and space heaters. Being exposed to this gas can lead to poisoning and possible death. Use newspaper and small pieces of dry wood to start fires. Ventless fireplace health risks While no deaths from vent-free fireplace incidents have been reported, NACHI says, some municipalities have restricted or outlawed vent-free fireplaces. You are rendering a terrific service by providing the bulletin board on vent-free gas fireplaces. Never burn plastic, garbage or pressure-treated wood. Natural gas fireplaces without vents have no such pipe system and therefore, are highly mobile. If you value your health, don't burn gas indoors. Health Effects Associated with Nitrogen Dioxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, potentially lethal gas produced as a byproduct when fuels such as natural or propane gas, kerosene, and wood are burned. Vent-free fireplaces tend to deplete the oxygen supply within a room. People with heart or lung diseases, diabetes, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. Natural Gas: Avoidable Health Hazard David Wimberly Natural Gas Health Information Coalition N.S. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas. That's why heating your home with a wood-burning stove is so much more dangerous than using your fireplace once in awhile; wood-burning furnaces have to run 24/7 all winter long to keep your house warm. Risk of an explosion results when gas accumulates after homeowners attempt to light the appliance and it does not ignite after several attempts. Some gas heaters have been identified as posing a serious health risk. Health problems that seem to be worse or only occur when the heating is on may be caused by carbon monoxide (CO) from a faulty gas heater. Ventless fireplace health risks. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Of all the dangerous gases, carbon monoxide is the most dangerous and the most notorious. adds: Gas combustion generates copious amounts of water vapour contributing to moulds, dust mites, viruses and bacteria, providing a transport mechanism for these and other respirable particulates and volatile organic compounds deep into the lungs and thus into the body. Learn more about the ventless fireplaces. But, to answer the question of whether vent free fireplaces are actually dangerous, let's look at where the risks come from and what size they are. Burning wood in a fireplace can result in the release of toxins, including dioxin, arsenic and formaldehyde, as well as fine particles that can worsen breathing problems in people with asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).Wood smoke can also be harmful to adults with congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. If you leave the gas fireplace on overnight, the first danger you could face is this. Like traditional gas units, ventless gas fireplaces run on natural gas or propane. 3. Make sure that the room with the fireplace is well-ventilated. Health Risks . These acids released by the gas are difficult to see and can pose health risks. There have been two reported incidents involving these fireplaces due to delayed ignition. Natural gas has caused more cases of environmental illness … Make sure your wood has been split and stored for at least 6 months. When burning gas, several by-products of combustion are produced that can be dangerous to your health. Anyone with a chronic illness is more susceptible to the harmful effects of a wood-burning stove. 1 Many of these pollutants can worsen air quality indoors and outdoors. Thinking of cooking with gas? This, in turn, could put their health at risk. “Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest health problems because they can get deep into the lungs,” says Dr. Cain. When the weather outside turns colder, there’s nothing cozier than a warm, crackling fire in your fireplace and a steaming cup of tea in your hands. The District of Columbia bans the fireplaces only in bedrooms or bathrooms, but … Glass-fronted gas fireplaces can pose a serious risk to young children, an emergency room physician warns. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Wood smoke has health effects like lung cancer, wheezing and premature death, too. Gas fireplaces are not the simple appliances that many people assume. Natural Vent gas fireplaces (B-Vent) use air from within the home for combustion and release emissions outside the home. In addition, ventless gas fireplaces are available. This model gas fireplaces also has the ability to recognize oxygen levels “within the control valve.” The Verdict: Gas Fireplaces Have Fewer Safety Risks. [clarification needed] In the United States, some states and local counties have laws restricting these types of fireplaces.They must be properly sized to the area to be heated. The relief dampers on these products may not work, which could lead to excess gas being ignited when lighting the fireplace. Gas fireplaces have fewer safety risks than wood burning fireplaces. Homes with Gas Stoves Have Significantly Dirtier Indoor Air, Measured Emissions from Gas Cooktops and Ovens, Go Electric for Cooking or At Least Do This, induction stoves a source of electromagnetic toxicity, air purifier that is able to remove gas stove pollutants, The Little Discussed Dangers of Induction Stoves (and what to buy instead), Increased risk of childhood asthma (both current and lifetime), Aggravated respiratory symptoms (wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing), Increased susceptibility to lung infections, Deleted tissue antioxidant defenses (which protect the respiratory tract). Policy. A faulty gas heater can cause serious health problems. Fitness, health and wellness tips sent to you weekly. Many homeowners end up asking chimney sweeps to take out their vent-free gas logs due to problems they find associated with the appliance. Ventless fireplaces (duct free/room-venting fireplaces) are fueled by either gel, liquid propane, bottled gas or natural gas. Accumulation of gas in the fireplace following failed attempts to light the appliance can lead to an explosion, causing serious injuries. The truth is, burning wood in your home can increase your risk for a variety of serious health problems, including heart disease and COPD. The only way to detect it is by using specialized equipment. Do Face Mask Brackets Work — And Are They Safe? However in recent years there has been much debate about the potential negative health effects associated with wood smoke. Ventless fireplaces use air from within the home and release emissions within the home – resulting in poor air quality and potential health risks. Carbon monoxide poisoning is just one of the primary risks. If you do decide to use your wood-burning fireplace, the EPA has these suggestions for safer fires: “If you’re thinking about switching to a gas fireplace to avoid the health hazards of a wood-burning fireplace, gas fireplaces also may affect indoor air quality,” she says. Those with single pipes come with the risk of catching fire as there are higher chances of the flames reversing back into the vent. Is There a Safe (and Warm) Way to Gather Outside During the Pandemic? Particle pollution. Ventless gas fireplaces can reduce carbon emissions. The Health Hazards of Natural Gas by Agnes Malouf and David Wimberly UPdate Summer 2001. The fact of the matter is that vent-free, gas burning fireplaces and other other appliances definitely DO emit elemental gasses into the home, including carbon dioxide (Not a huge deal. In addition, ventless gas fireplaces are available. An unsafe fireplace or chimney is a serious cause for concern and, therefore, you should be aware of the condition before it’s too late. “Even healthy people may experience temporary symptoms from exposure to elevated levels of particle pollution that a wood fire creates.”. If you do go this route, make sure they’re fully vented outdoors to keep pollutants out. Natural gas fireplaces have been linked to respiratory problems for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory issues. Most of the risk from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces comes from how it can damage your lungs and cardiovascular system over the long term. Check them regularly. Gas fireplaces are generally considered cleaner than traditional wood-burning fireplaces, but they can also pollute indoor air quality if not properly vented. Think again.With natural gas rolling ashore in Nova Scotia, it is tempting to believe industry and government promises that if only we could plug into this rich new local resource we could see our fuel bills drop and free up money in the budget for the nicer things in life. Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned every year by a certified professional to make sure there are no gaps, cracks or unwanted drafts and to remove any dangerous creosote buildup. This model gas fireplaces also has the ability to recognize oxygen levels “within the control valve.” The Verdict: Gas Fireplaces Have Fewer Safety Risks. Ventless fireplaces use air from within the home and release emissions within the home – resulting in poor air quality and potential health risks. “If you’re thinking about switching to a gas fireplace to avoid the health hazards of a wood-burning fireplace, gas fireplaces also may affect indoor air quality,” she says. 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