Program to help snuff out woodsmoke pollution falls short of target

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The tangy smell of woodsmoke may evoke a nostalgic sense of warmth, but the emissions are a source of health-harming pollution that the province is trying to reduce—though a key weapon in its campaign is falling far short of its goals.

Dr. Michael Brauer, a professor in the school of population and public health at the University of B.C., has done studies in Metro Vancouver linking woodsmoke to low birth weights in babies and an increase in ear infections in children.

Elsewhere in the province, Brauer said Health Canada has done a study that correlates heart attacks to smoke pollution. 

“We see the health impacts in Metro Vancouver. (Woodsmoke) is a source that we now know contributes a lot, and we actually haven’t done a lot about it,” Brauer said.