Feeling the Fire

Apr 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Youth Blog

Despite reasonable laws, many citizens have found burning trash a way to control waste disposal. However, there are some thoughtful considerations out there that these folks may be interested in hearing.

#1: It’s Unhealthy Burn barrels and debris fires burn at low temperatures (400-600 degrees Fahrenheit), with poor combustion, and with no pollution controls. As a result, open burning fires form toxins that we can breathe in. Today’s garbage contains many plastics and other synthetic materials. The smoke from burning this garbage contains toxic compounds, such as dioxin, furans, and other carcinogens. Another harmful pollutant emitted from the burning of trash is particulate matter. Particulate matter is very small particles of dust, soot and liquids suspended in air. If breathed in, particulate matter can travel deep into our lungs and aggravate lung diseases, such as asthma. This particulate matter can harm healthy lungs too.

#2: It’s Unnecessary Today, there is little need to open burn. There are many alternatives for those who choose not to open burn such as, taking advantage of roadside pick-up, drop off sites, and composting. Moreover reducing waste, reusing items, and using recycling facilities are other alternatives. In fact, recycling is the law in some states like Wisconsin. Here, items such as glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, and newspaper are required to be recycled. Perhaps Wisconsin is taking a lead that many other stats will soon follow.

#3: It’s Unsafe Playing with fire is dangerous, and unsafe. Open burning fires can easily get out of control, and when they do, they cause a lot of damage. According to the South Carolina Forestry Commission, on an annual basis, 35-45% of South Carolina wildfires are caused by planned debris burnings. Wildfires put the safety of firefighters, people and homes at risk. The Commission’s website says, “These fires cause damage to the forest resource as well as wildlife habitat, water quality, and air quality.” The website goes on to add, “Wildfires burn 20-30 homes in the state every year, and hundreds more are threatened each fire season. Because these situations are becoming more common in our state, it is important for citizens and firefighters alike to understand the nature of wildfire.” If your fire gets out of control and starts a wildfire, you could have to pay for the cost of putting it out! 

Tags: , ,

Leave a Comment