Scientists to conduct impact study of wood smoke

A group of scientists from seven research centers will be taking smog readings in a number of Greek cities from January 10 to February 10 to gauge the environmental impact from the increased use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, Skai reported on Tuesday.

Over the past few weeks scientists, together with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), have been warning of the health risks associated with the increased use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves by Greeks anxious to cut down on their heating bills, warning that burning wood in the home releases 30 times more air pollution than using a well-maintained heating oil or gas-burning boiler.

Based on a study published on Tuesday, scientists found that concentrations of particulates in the atmosphere from wood smoke increased twofold from December 2010 to the same period in 2012, stressing that the problem is especially acute at night, when demand for heating increases.

High levels of smog have been detected in the western port city of Patra and in Thessaloniki in the north, as well as in parts of Attica, particularly in Penteli and in suburbs at the foot of Mount Hymettus.