Are Bonfires Bad for Your Health?


I smoke a pipe now and then, which in some circles, makes me a bad person. We’ve gotten a little unbalanced on this subject, since obesity and prescription drugs also kill people and we don’t talk much about that. Of course, as one should not impose their bad habits on others, I smoke outside.

I wondered if burning leaves and bonfires are also bad for your health, and I regret to inform you that they are. Here are some sources: “Leaf smoke may also contain hazardous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, which can bind with hemoglobin in the bloodstream and reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood and lungs. Another noxious chemical commonly present in leaf smoke is benzo(a)pyrene, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals and is believed to be a major factor in lung cancer caused by cigarette smoke.”

Wood smoke contains several toxic harmful air pollutants including:

Holy smoke! Or unholy smoke! What about fireplaces? I love fireplaces-and bonfires! And shouldn’t fire fighters get hazard pay?

By the way, here is a real ad from the 1950s:

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