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BSRIA comments on government's Clean Air Strategy - stovesJanuary 2019

allan wilson Sustainability Consultant

BSRIA has responded to government’s Clean Air Strategy, published yesterday, in which wood burning stoves and open fires face new restrictions in a “world leading” plan to combat air pollution in England.

Government pledges to set a "bold new goal" to reduce particulates across “much of the country” by 2030.

allan wilson, Test Engineer, BSRIA, said:

“BSRIA and its members are working hard and fast to reduce emissions in wood burning stoves. Indeed, in recent years, BSRIA has provided consultancy and testing services to assist new member and industry products meet the future requirements. Much improved appliances are already being produced that meet the high standards coming in 2022.

The strategy makes a good start and heads in the right direction. BSRIA calls on government to reach deeper into the causes of pollution and continue to press forward in making real reductions to encourage sustainable clean combustion.

The bigger problem produced by open fires and the old stock of solid fuel stoves over the previous century that burn wood and coal – is yet to be addressed.

From a solid fuel appliance angle, the strategy is balanced and the proposed measures are in line with the introduction of the Ecodesign Directive.”

In April 2016 – BSRIA alerted manufacturers they need to be aware of imminent changes to government legislation in testing room heaters fired by solid fuels for CE marking and DEFRA smoke tests, namely: stoves.

BS EN 13240 is being replaced by BS EN 16510 – to enable additional measurements and tighter limits of emissions under the Ecodesign Directive 2009 / 1185 / 6.

Action to reduce emissions at home

Burning wood and coal in open fires and stoves makes up 38 per cent of the UK’s primary emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Harmful sulphur dioxide (SO2) is emitted by coal burned in open fires.

Industry-related aims of the Clean Air Strategy 2019

  • By 2022, to ensure only the "cleanest stoves" are available to purchase.
  • Phase-out of coal-fired power stations and moving towards cleaner power sources.
  • Legislate to ban the sale of the most polluting fuels.
  • Make changes to existing smoke control legislation to make it easier to enforce.
  • Give new powers to local authorities to take action in areas of high pollution.
  • Develop a dedicated communication campaign targeted at domestic burners, to improve awareness of the environmental and public health impacts of burning.
  • Work with industry to identify an appropriate test standard for new solid fuels entering the market.
  • Work with consumer groups, health organisations and industry to improve awareness of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) build-up in the home and the importance of effective ventilation to reduce exposure.

Scene setting

While overall levels of air pollution have been declining in recent decades, there has also been a growing scientific awareness of the scale of problems that it causes.

NHS England says that almost 30 per cent of preventable deaths in England are due to non-communicable diseases specifically attributed to air pollution.

The Clean Air Strategy is the final in the suite of recent government strategies, complementing:

IAQ investigations

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