Editor, The Independent:
Please avoid burning leaves for the following health and safety reasons…
The smoke can cause many significant health problems. It is an eye, nose and throat irritant. Children, elderly, asthmatics, and those with lung or vascular diseases are even more at risk. The visible smoke particles reach deep into lung tissue and can cause coughing, wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath, with some symptoms that can start days after exposure.
It is not only an irritant but it also contains many hazardous chemicals, including but not limited to carbon monoxide and benzo(a)pyrene. Benzo(a)pyrene is known to cause cancer in animals and is a major factor in lung cancer.
I don’t even want to think about the molds and the poison ivy that grows rampant in this area being burned in the leaf piles!
Smoke can also reduce drivers’ visibility thus creating a safety hazard. It is a noxious odor nuisance, it soils buildings and property and it creates additional strain on our first responders. A big shout out of thanks to our wonderful police officers and firemen!
Instead of burning please refer to leaf pick up days included with this months water bill, or you could: compost, mulch or make decorative wood chips.
Thank you for being a caring neighbor in these troubling times!