Wood Burning Stove & Allergies

Written by michelle nesbit
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Wood Burning Stove & Allergies
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Wood smoke poses a serious health threat to people with respiratory allergies. This presents a problem to homes using a woodstove. Not only does it produce offending smoke, but a woodstove also gives off irritating toxins.

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Trigger Factors

The smoke emitted by a wood burning stove may contain particles that can aggravate your lungs if you have allergy and asthma conditions.

Allergic Reaction

According to Dr. Alan Szeftel of the University of California at Los Angeles, the body’s enhanced ability to produce the allergy antibody IgE is directly related to exposure to smoke. This antibody attaches to allergens and is the main cause of allergic reactions.

Research

German researchers, in the journal "Respiratory Medicine," state that a stove burning wood or coal is negatively linked with atopic sensitisation, which is related to childhood asthma, and with childhood allergic rhinitis.

Treatment

A trial is sometimes recommended during which the patient has no exposure to wood smoke, according to Dr. Miles Weinberger of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. This helps determine the extent of the allergic reactions.

Caution

<p>Fireplacebasics.com notes that not everyone with respiratory problems has a problem with wood burning stoves. Speak with your physician to help determine the cause of allergy symptoms before considering removal of an existing woodstove.

Controlling Risks

If your allergic reaction is related to wood smoke, your physician may be able to direct you toward burnable materials that are nontoxic and less polluting.

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