England Restricts Sales of Coal, Wet Woods for Burning in Home
In a bid to reduce air pollution, England has banned the sales of coal, wet woods and manufactured solid fuels for burning in homes from May 1. However, people who have open fires and log burners will be allowed to use them.
Such people will be required to go for alternative fuels that are clean like dry wood and manufactured solid fuels. These fuels are considered clean as they produce less smoke, although they still contribute largely to air pollution.
Burning of wet wood and traditional house coal at home has been labelled as the major source of PM2.5. It is a pollutant whose tiny particles can enter the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs and other organs of the body.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified PM2.5 as the most serious air pollutant for human health. As per the government of the United Kingdom, burning wet woods produce about four times as much particle pollution as dry woods.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said,
Burning cleaner fuels is a more efficient option for households across England, helping reduce our exposure to this incredibly harmful pollutant and benefitting the environment. Cleaner fuels are also better for consumers as they create less smoke and soot and more heat. This legislation marks the latest step in delivering on the challenges we set ourselves in our Clean Air Strategy.
She stressed that despite the reduction of air pollution at a national level since 2010, there is a lot more to be done to tackle pollution caused by domestic burning, transport, agriculture, and from the industries.
From now on, sales of wet wood and bagged traditional house coal in units under 2 m3 will be unlawful. Wet woods that are sold in large quantities should come with advice about how to dry them before burning.
All manufactured solid fuels should now have low sulphur content. These solid fuels must only emit a small amount of smoke.
Apart from this, products will be labelled and certified by the suppliers to ensure they are easily identified under a new certification scheme. Retail outlets will only be allowed to sell fuel bearing the correct label.
During the 1950s, Britain replaced coal with smokeless fuels. These fuels were made from powdered coal and industrial waste coke.