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Small-scale wood combustion worsens air quality in Nordic cities

Published : 18 May 2020, 09:01

Updated : 18 May 2020, 18:00

  DF Report

File Photo VisitFinland by Jason Charles Hill.

Small-scale wood combustion has significant effects on the concentrations of fine particulate matter in ambient air and on the health of the populations in Nordic cities, said a the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), quoting a study report.

The study investigated how small-scale wood combustion affects the concentrations of fine particles in the outdoor air of Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhage,n and Umeå. The share of fine particles from wood combustion was clearly the highest in Oslo (30–60%. In Helsinki, the combustion of wood in residential stoves and fireplaces causes up to 15 per cent of the concentrations of fine particles in the air every year.

in The study found that Small-scale combustion is the largest domestic source of airborne fine particles in Finland.

Previous studies by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) found that small-scale wood combustion causes about 200 premature deaths in Finland every year.

In total, air pollution is estimated to cause about 2,000 premature deaths a year in Finland.

The study investigated how small-scale wood combustion affects the concentrations of fine particles in outdoor air in Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen and Umeå. The share of fine particles from wood combustion was clearly the highest in the in central urban areas of Oslo (30–60%). The share was found to be the second highest in Umeå (8–22%), followed by Copenhagen (0–20%). In Helsinki, the share of wood combustion in fine particles varied regionally from small values ​​to a maximum of 15 per cent.

For the first time, the study systematically investigated the effects of small-scale combustion on fine-particle concentrations in different Nordic cities. Small-scale combustion is the largest domestic source of airborne fine particles in Finland.

Previous studies by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, The Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) have found that small-scale wood combustion causes about 200 premature deaths in Finland every year.

In total, air pollution is estimated to cause about 2,000 premature deaths in Finland a year.