Wood smoke pollution

Wood heaters

Home fireplace

Smoke from wood heaters is a major cause of air pollution. In fact, during winter, wood heaters can produce up to seven times as much particle pollution as cars. Not only is a smoking fire wasting your money, but the air pollution it causes can also affect our health.

That's why we need to change the way we use our heaters.

Wood smoke contains a number of noxious gases (including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and a range of organic compounds, some of which are toxic or carcinogenic) and fine particles, which go deep into the lungs.

Who is at risk?

Wood smoke pollution affects everyone. It is harmful to the health of wood heater users and the health of others in the community. Health effects depend on the extent of a person's exposure to wood smoke, one's age and current state of wellbeing.

People who are more at risk are:

  • infants and very young children
  • those suffering from existing cardiac or respiratory conditions, such as asthma
  • those with vascular complications from diabetes
  • frail elderly people.

You can be affected by wood smoke:

  • inside and outside your home
  • from your own wood heater or from other wood heaters in your neighbourhood.

Kempsey Shire Council in partnership with the Mid North Coast Regional Organisation of Councils (MIDROC) has joined forces to tackle the winter phenomena of wood smoke pollution.

More information

To find out more about the MIDROC wood smoke reduction program and how you can reduce wood smoke pollution visit:

For more information on the health impacts of wood smoke visit:

Do it Right - Burn it Bright